Tuesday, May 29, 2007
“I beg your pardon?” I say, somewhat shocked and confused by my local GP’s peculiar statement.
“I said, it appears that you do not have a soul.”
“I soul?” I say, “I don’t have a soul?”
“Yes, you seem to be completely lacking one, this would account for your feelings of emptiness, fragility and ennui.”
Doctor Murphy gestures for me to sit back down, which I do. He puts the strange chrome medical apparatus which he has just used to determine my lack of a soul back in its leather snap fastened case and then he also sits.
“Is there anything I can do about a lack of a soul?” I ask.
”No,” The Doctor says unequivocally.
“Don’t I need to be religious or something to have a soul?”
Clearly irritated by my question the Doctor sakes his head as if I am a silly child asking if the world is flat.
“Religion is irrelevant, what we are dealing with here is your complete inability to feel any kind of normal emotions. Yes?. Compassion, warmth, empathy, companionship, friendship, love; these emotions are controlled by a person’s soul. You do not feel these things, yes?”
“Oh,” I say, unable to think of anything remotely intelligent to add.
“Have you ever been in love?” Doctor Murphy asks.
“Ever had a really good friend that you would do anything for without expecting anything in return?”
“Are you married? Do you have children? Ever had a relationship not end with you cheating, lying or becoming bored?”
“There you go,” Doctor Murphy says, “You are completely without a soul.”
“Did I lose it?” I enquire.
“No, you never had one.”
“And you say there isn’t anything I can do?”
Doctor Murphy spins round in his chair and taking my head in his hands starts to move my head this way and that. After a few moments of examining my face and eyes he stops and turns to his desk top PC and begins to type awkwardly with two fingers.
After a few seconds of silence only punctuated by the slow tapping at his keyboard I realise that he has either ignored my question altogether or has forgotten what I asked, so I repeat it.
“Is there anything I can do about this, can I get a soul if I don’t currently have one?”
“No.” The Doctor says impassively, “There is nothing you can do about it.”
“Oh right,” I say.
“Now, was there anything else?” The Doctor asks, clearly trying to rushing me out so he can get to his next patient.
“No,” I say, “I guess not.”
“Well,” Doctor Murphy says, “Take care.”
And with that I get up and leave.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
An earlobe, that was all. A single earlobe from his right ear. There was a very slight tingling, not unpleasant, like an itch and it simply fell onto his shoulder and then onto the floor.
His wife stopped mid-sentence and looked at her husband in horror.
“What is it now?” he screamed, thinking the look on her face was in relation to something he had just called her.
“Your ear,” she replied, “Part of your ear just fell off.”
The casualty doctor was utterly bewildered by the small round piece of flesh that was once attached to the man’s ear. He had never seen anything quite like it. Perfectly detached, no open wound, no abrasion, no sign of trauma. Absolutely no blood on either the earlobe or what was left of his ear. It was as if it had never been attached in the first place. In fact, because of this it was deemed impossible to reattach;it wasn’t really part of his body at all now.
Following extensive tests for various potentially illness the man was discharged from the hospital, it had become apparent that he was suffering from no known aliment, and certainly nothing at all that could have resulted, directly or otherwise in the loss of a small bit of his body.
Time passed, and the incident with the earlobe fell from the headlines of this particular couples life, quickly replaced by more mundane concerns and disputes.
The second piece of the man’s body became detached during a meeting at his office. Whilst managing to retain his own job, the man was forced to free up half his team, due to downsizing. Following the same slight itch, the little finger on his left hand suddenly dropped off as he explained to a senior project analyst that due to one thing and another and the current strength of the pound against the dollar that his services would no longer required.
Another rush trip to the hospital garnered the same results, it could not be put back on. Physically the man was in perfect order, he had suffered no pain other than the emotional pain of the loss of the finger; luckily it wasn’t even an important one. No, the important ones came later.
The man quite rightly decided that perhaps this was a sign that he should take a break and enjoy some of the annual leave and lieu days he’d be amassing for the past year. Unfortunately, the increased time at home just meant he became engaged in more vicious and destructive arguments with his good lady wife.
A disagreement over who should cook Sunday dinner lead to his entire left ear falling off and both little toes. This was quickly followed by a bitter quarrel regarding a suspected indiscretion the man had possibly once had with a young office co-worker some years previously, this resulted in the loss of a right buttock.
Most distressingly of all however, the exact same day his wife decided she would leave, unable as she was to cope with her husband’s painless but ultimately horrific mystery illness, he saw the separation of his left foot from his leg and then his manhood from its usual place of residence.
Two months passed, the man sat alone in his conservatory and looked out with his one eye across the large unkempt lawn. He was no longer able to walk properly as he was missing the entirety of his right leg and his left leg up to his knee. He could only see out of the one eye and was now completely deaf and mute, due to having no ears, lips or tongue.
Fortunately, he still had an arm and hand, although this was only partially functional as it was shy of two fingers and lacked a chunk of wrist and elbow. His other arm was gone completely, now residing in the chest freezer in the garage with all his other redundant body parts. They had told him they would never be reattached but he had decided to keep them, just in case.
As he watched a small grey squirrel bound across the grass he considered (once again) how it was he had ended up in such a sorry state and where it would all end.
Was it some sort of punishment from God? Unlikely, he had little to no faith, believing those that had such strong devotion to be weak minded. By his own standards he hadn’t been a terrible man, somewhat self serving and selfish, but then who wasn’t?
He had never been entirely fulfilled by his work, but an over stretching mortgage and a demanding wife meant he’d stuck at it for so long it was the only thing he felt remotely able to do. Not that it was a problem anymore as his bosses had swiftly found cause to let him go. He surmised that they probably felt that a man regularly falling to bits would upset morale, and on this basis he didn’t blame them for their actions.
If he was honest, he’d never really loved his wife, it was the pressure from his parents and peers that had seen them marry and routine and a lack of imagination that had kept them together so long. She was gone now, and despite everything, he was happier for it.
No, he thought, as bad as this condition was, he’d make the most of what time he had left, and if that meant simply sitting in his conservatory watching life go by then so be it.
And for first time in his entire life he believed he had reached a sense of serenity that had previously always alluded him.
Sadly, at the exact moment he felt this newly found tranquility and calm he also felt a very slight tingling, like an itch all around his neck.
Monday, May 21, 2007
“To make a million pound this year” shouts some wet behind the ears new boy, hoping to impress with his rampant enthusiasm. An un-ironic cheer goes up and I feel physically sick.
“Doug, what’s your goal?”
Doug without a moments hesitation says, “To buy a Jag.”
“Good goal, and you Alan, what do you want?”
“To buy a four bedroom detached house.”
“Excellent Alan, Jen, what do you want, what do you hope to get?”
Jen looks around the room and frowns, thinks for a moment. Her face blushes slightly before triumphantly announcing, “I want to have the wedding of the year. To have the biggest and best wedding of the year”
Another cheer, this time with ‘whoops’.
Pathetic I think, hideously un-imaginative I think, painfully predictable I think.
“And you Ged, what do you want? What’s your goal?”
All eyes are on me, all eyes look into my mine and I can feel them desperately trying to second-guess at what I will say.
Mortgage free living? Promotion? New car like Doug, New house like Alan, Marriage to Jen... What’s it going to be?
I’m that frog we watched as kids (second fiddle to a small bald bastard) and I just don’t know what flavour I want this time.
What if the reason it took so long for him to answer the question of which flavour he wanted, wasn’t to give us a chance to guess which flavour; banana, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! What if we sat and watched and he never decided, because he was sick to death of milkshake. The very thought of another lactose cocktail made him want to retch his liver up, as if having to gulp it down one more time would shatter his soul.
“I don’t want another motherfucking milkshake”, he’d scream his band and at us, “so stop fucking asking me!”.
“Why are you interested?” I say.
The room frosts over.
The big boss stiffens his casual inclusive stance, adjusts his tie and looks around the assembled crowd.
“No, it’s a good question Ged,” the crowd relax, “The fact of the matter is we want you to achieve whatever your goal is. We see this as a partnership between you and this business. And if you help us achieve our goal we will help you to achieve yours”
“I don’t have a goal”, I say.
“I really don’t have a goal”, I say.
“Didn’t you say you wanted to travel?” Mike chips in, in a thinly veiled attempt to give me a life line out of this career nosedive I’ve steered into.
I knock away the line. “No I didn’t, Mike, you’re thinking of Pete, y'know, who quit to go round Southeast Asia.”
The room bristles again, the reference to Pete is unwarranted, especially as Pete’s holiday in Southeast Asia, his holiday of a lifetime, ended in his death. I knew what I was doing by mentioning it.
“Come on Ged, there must be something you want, what did you do last night for instance?”
I sucked back a gram of Delirium and then sat in my flat drifting through space.
“Nothing,” I say, “I didn’t do anything.”
I just look at him, blankly. Everyone else just fades away, it’s just me and the big boss, like Gary Cooper and whoever, and it’s only a quarter past nine in the morning.
“You must want something, otherwise what’s the point, right?”
What if I was to die, right here, right now? What if I just feel to the ground? Not in any Hollywood style dramatic collapse, but the way cows fall to the ground when the slaughter men puts a bolt in their brains, like they were puppeteers dolls who had all the wires cut at the same time.
“You must want something?” He says for what now feels like the one-hundredth time.
“You must, everybody wants something?”
And my wires are cut and I fall. My head hits the photocopier table as I go down and splits across the bridge of my nose, forcing the bone into my skull and flinging my head back. And then smack, down into the thin shagged shock carpet with a sickening thud.
“He didn’t want anything after all” they’d say “not even to live”.
“You must want something, you must desire at least one thing in your empty, meaningless, trivial, sterile, Godless existence. There must be, because if there isn’t then why do you continue?”
I don’t know, I really don’t, I exist, and that’s it.
And you’re right everyone wants something, right?. Be it an end to this war or that conflict, food for their children or a better chance in life. To forget the attack or see them all killed. To be beautiful or intelligent, to have them all stop and listen to you or not work every hour of the day for pittance. To have work, to not to go to work to offer work to others or take his job. To play for that team or have them win when you’re there. To not worry about the bills or see them pay all their bills so you don’t need to worry about yours. Somewhere to live where you won’t be messed with, a larger house for your ever expanding brood, that mansion on the cliff that says you are successful and should be respected for your endeavours by people who hate you and would eat you if push came to shove. To live to a ripe old age, fully fit, to be able to walk again, talk again, write again, feel again. To be happy and safe and content and feel loved and desired and needed. To have that feeling again that you had as a child when your mother cuddled you and stroked your hair and told you everything would be okay. To not feel sick with jealousy as she stroked his hair and you watched and wished it was you.
To not think about these thing, to be able to sleep, or be able to wake, or have her finally wake up, to not feel constant pain, to know what your purpose is to be at peace to know a God loves you and has a place all ready for you because you are special. Really special.
To know someone is thinking about you as much as you thinking about them.
But why is it complicated? Why is your goal, your dream, your desire the hardest thing to achieve. And not because you’re lazy, because this isn’t about being lazy, it’s about not knowing if you push it where it will go and who will be hurt. And what if, just what if you tell her and she laughs at you.
Because really you do want something. To not be yourself and have her and her desire for you and have both your histories erased and start at a Chairman Mao year zero. Because that would mean you’d have a chance at least.
You don’t have a chance though, and you know it. She knows to much about you already.
But I can’t say that here can I? I can’t say to be happy, to be loved and more importantly to feel love.
“Good answer” the big boss would say with a level of warmth and generosity of spirit that you associate with Christian yet ironically never see., “We can help you with that, we have a team of stylist and psychologists to iron out the issues with your physical appearance and obvious personality flaws.”
“Anyway Ged, you just go ahead and think of something. When you’ve come up with it bring a picture of it in and put it on your desk, to remind you what it is you’re striving for.” and then he moves onto William who wants a black belt in Karate, which is bullshit because we all know his goal is to finger Becky in HR.
“Ged” shouts over the big boss as the meeting breaks up, “Can you come into my office for a moment please?”
As I step in he gestures for me to close the door.
“I didn’t mean to show you up.” he says and I feel confused, this is the same man that routinely screams at the team about missing targets. This is the man who throws books at us and tells us we’re shit. “It is important to have a goal, Ged”
“Yeah, otherwise how are you going to get through this bollocks? And if you really set your heart on something, even if it really seems impossible to achieve, well, when you get it you’ll appreciate it all the more.”
At this point I expect him to launch into a tale that starts with a little boy who wanted a train set that he saw in a department store window, and ends with that little boy being him.
Instead he tells me to piss off back to my desk and make sure I bring a photo in by Monday.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
It takes more than necking another bottle of OC Skinny to get me flipped over by a memory jacker out for cerebral kicks in the pitch-coal-black grind base connectors at Paralyze, the hippest nite-mare this side of Fryday.
I lounge with my co-conspirators and suck it all in. Eight white hot chimeryczny chicks; we get what we want, we get who we want. And right now it’s more free drinkies and then a glide to the floor to cut it up and make a mark.
The Tri-D scares no one with all that magniloquent bleugh about how the relentless boom boom boom of the electro-ratcheted future sounds of the megalopolis will mean I’ll be pierdolić by the time I’m really ancient and well on my way to a quarter century. I won’t be able to hear for skitt, so what, right? Not only is this dreamy aura delight well worth any minor to major loss, but by the time I turn twenty-five I’ll be to old to care anyway.
Right now the furious reverberations are so massive they bury beneath my skin, resonating with my bones; I am one and the same with the sociopathic beats and with my Skinny and maybe, just maybe a snifter of something a little bit more potent; Frenesí, liquid Pozgon or a tab or two of Ten/10?. Ten/10 mixed with Delirium and a line or three of Marzenie, yummy. They call it Hotspur,
Fifteen summers, two in a rotation of blissed-out twilights to raging first light and yeah, possibly I am an old timer now, but this is more home to me than that dried up witch and her newest limp dick. ‘Ohhhh honey, you’re not going out again is ya?’ Trying to relate to me with furrowed brows, long words and his sweaty sweaty hands, that when the witch looks away end up, everywhere. Can't really blame the poor old sod, guess I look like the witch, only much younger, much thinner and a cutrillion times hotter.
Yeah, they call us twigs. They call us scratch-jills, they call us access-whories they call us pill-girlies, giggles and worse. They call us when they need to look good and want to get sucked (go suck yourself). They think we do it for what they hold in their pockets but that just ain’t the case. I do it ‘cause I choose to, and ‘cause it’s fun.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Well, he just had to face up to the facts; he had lost himself.
He tried to remember where he had last seen himself, but this was proving to be extremely difficult.
There was of course that stag do, almost a decade ago. One of a succession, which seemed to take place over a very short period of time.
Strange, but now he came to think about it, it was entirely possible that they had all been gripped by a strangely virulent virus, which spread throughout his clique stealing their individual identities as it went, hiding them, never to be found again.
Rob, Mike, Liz, Roseanne, Martin, Agatha, Jenne and himself; all transformed from cosy, efficient, inclusive relationships into what they were now; dog owning, estate car owning, Sunday with the in-laws, Can’t ‘cause of the kids, Friday night recoveries in front of the TV. Families.
That first stag do though, when Mike was getting married to Agatha; he was definitely there, he wasn’t lost at this point. He remembered he was heroically drunk and laughing uproariously all night. Yes, he was definitely there. After that though…?
Was that the last time he could recall seeing himself? Was he already missing when he and Jenne shortly after their friends wedding talked about their own marriage, that it was the thing to do, and that if he did truly love her, then why not…?
No; he’d started to get confused about where he was but he wasn’t lost because the engagement had been followed by that moment. That dirty disgraceful moment, which even now as he tried to remember it in exact detail made him blush with shame.
Really it was nothing more than a drink after work with a colleague, Kate, who worked in accounts, or maybe it was a series of drinks? The thing was though, during those few short hours he knew exactly where he was and precisely what he had wanted, but he was weak and despite his true longing he had betrayed himself and walked away. Maybe he’d left himself in that bar, and he was there right now, crumpled up in a box out back somewhere in the office, waiting to be reclaimed. A reunion which would never happen.
He definitely was not there at the wedding. The fuss, the ceremony, the rings, vows, kisses, speeches, tears, the traditions observed, the expense; he was not present for any of it.
And the children? Weren’t they in some way meant to drive any concerns of where he’d gone from his mind, anaesthetise him, to allow him to focus on his primary task of preparing his offspring for the same feelings of loss they would invariably encounter many years down the line?
What about Jenne? Was she as lost as he?
It was a possibility, although if she was she certainly never showed it. Her outwardly confident and resolute mother, wife, career woman persona portrayed no signs of doubt. Maybe she wasn’t lost at all, maybe she had simply decided to leave herself somewhere, with a view in years to come to recover herself and pick up from where she’d left off.
Perhaps Jenne was at work, which is precisely where he had been for a time, that was until promotion and responsibilities meant he misplaced himself there also.
The truth was, the part of him that would care where she was, and would move heaven and hell to find her again, was already gone.
He was lost to him now. And it probably always would be.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Upon reflection, up until this point the evening had been reasonable ordinary; a couple of drinks with friends, followed by a couple more, followed by a ridiculous amount more and then chips, chicken burger, lashings of gravy, head stuck between doors of bus.
He hadn’t even had a single chip yet. No, he’d been conscientiously saving them for the late night bus journey home, a pleasure he allowed himself only once or twice a week.
Why was the driver doing this? Was he being malicious? Vindictive? Had years of taking abuse from drunken kids finally snapped him? Or had he simply not seen Will lean in to ask a question when he threw the switch to close the door before he began to pull away? To be fair, Will considered, it was as this precise moment in time a moot point at best.
Will’s pace was quickening now, and no matter how much he pulled, his head was jammed solid. The pain of course, was becoming unbearable, and despite screaming and banging on the side of the bus for the driver to open the door, no action was forth coming.
Ironically, this wasn’t the first time this had happened to Will.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Maryann takes the gum that she’s been chewing throughout our flirtation from her mouth and presses it hard into a nail scrapped peephole that has been conscientiously carved by god-knows who over god-knows how long.
Pushing me back to an arms length she pulls her tight leather skirt up to her waist, slides her hands either side of her soft pink love heart panties and slowly runs them down to her ankles.
She looks up at me with those big blue saucer eyes and says, “I’ve got what you want, Daddy,”
“What I need, you mean,” I say, licking my lips.
Leaning back on the toilet seat, she jams both booted feet against the wall brackets, one either side of her. Gleefully exposing her holiest of holies, Maryann reaches forward and with one hand tightly holding onto the empty paper dispenser she begins to push the fingers from her free hand into herself.
I’m so crazy for it now it’s almost unbearable. It takes what remains of my threadbare will power to stop myself diving in there with her.
Sensing my growing discomfort she giggles and throws her head to one side, her long dark tangled web of hair obscures half her face like the ubiquitous Japanese scare-teens.
“You hard for me?” she purrs with a wink, “I’ll help you get there, Daddy.”
“I’m hard honey, but it ain’t for you,” I say, “And I’m not your Daddy,”
Same all over the megalopolis, if you know where to look you can find your perfect brand of filthy cube dweller, always spinning their deals, immune to the stench of excess and distorting beats that resonate throughout these tiny dark slate and shiny chrome spaces.
Comfort stops on the way to chemical oblivion is their office space, where everyday is a case of the Mondays.
After an eternity she finally pulls out a silver cylindrical tube which she immediately cleans by putting it in her mouth and sucking through her perfect bee stung lips.
She rests her feet back on the piss drenched floor and holds her hand out with the one thing I desire most in this world sitting innocently in the centre of her palm.
As I reach out to take it she snatches it away, and holds it far behind her clenched tightly in her tiny fist.
“You want it right, Daddy?”
I say nothing.
“You pay me a hundred.”
It’s worth half that again. I offer eighty-five.
“Ninety-five Daddy, and you can have me as well,”
I don’t even think for a second, “No offence,” I say pointing loving at the silver tube, “I just want that.”
“Ninety,” she says without dropping a beat.
There’s a loud bang on the cubicle door; she shoots me a look and I know she wants me to say silent.
Another bang followed by a cry of angry desperation. “What you doing in there? I need to take a whiz for fucksake.”
“I’m butt fucking your mother, bitch!” Maryann screams at the potential intruder.
Yet another bang on the door, “Get fucked, bitch!” she screams again, this time showering me in her angry warm spittle.
I wipe it away and offer eighty-eight. Pulling the notes from my back pocket, I offer them to her; no more, she gets no more.
Maryann holds the cylinder between two fingers and sniffs the one inch length.
“For eighty-eight you get a little bit of me as well, Daddy.”
She hands it over and without even taking a second to looking at it I crack its back and pour the contents into my mouth.
The sweet sweet liquid immediately has my tongue and gums tingling like electrified space dust.
Maryann shakes her head and starts to push her way past me. I obligingly let her.
“You might want to lock this after,” she helpfully suggests as she pulls the door open. I nod in agreement and push the door closed as she leaves, dragging the bolt across before slumping back on the toilet seat.
My body already weighs four times as much as a moment before; the effort in pulling each of my legs up onto the seat so can rest my chin on my knees is extraordinary.
The electrified space dust is seeking out every inch of my body, leaving traces of burning radiance like gunfire at night.
Suddenly pulsars fire from the back of my skull guiding blinding white light into the infinity before me.
A star field bursts into life, each newborn satellite exploding with the force of a million atom bombs.
I see it, I see it all through closed eyes.
My body, now relieved of weight drifts forward, slowly at first, but quickly gaining momentum until I’m moving at hyper-light speed through an angel filled cosmos.
Falling free through space I’m caught by the gravitational field of a super massive black hole, sucking me down, stretching me like rubber until with no more give I shatter into a billion pieces each flickering like sparks dancing on the surface of the sun.
Not long now I think.
Not long now until the foreplay is over and Delirium really kicks in.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
He leans in a little closer to the garish table decoration, pushing aside the remains of the dessert as he does. With his lips pursed he gently blows again; the flame dances to his tune.
She glides back into her chair, no sound, no fuss and smiles at this man so entranced in the moment. He lifts his eyes to hers and gently increases the flow of air to the candle; the flame vanishes leaving a glowing orange wick and pencil thin trail of smoke.
He sits back into his seat and pulls a lighter out of his jeans pocket. Nothing fancy, just a cheap blood red disposable. Relighting the candle he widens his eyes in mock horror,
“I’ve brought it back from the dead!”
“So I see,” she replies in feigned amazement, “Is there no end to your amazing powers?”
It has been the perfect evening, he thinks. Why was he so nervous before? The conversion had not for a single moment been forced, flirtatious remarks had been reciprocated and he had even successfully avoided the main courses with garlic. Now that pudding was done he was optimistic that there would soon be seconds of another kind.
Throughout the meal she had fascinated him, her life stories and experiences so rich in detail and depth; a life so bustlingly full for a woman of so few years; how was it possible?
She is of course utterly beautiful, a vision, long coal black hair, beguiling dark frosty green eyes and a complexion so pale and so perfect that he imagined every china doll would crack with uncontrollable jealously if they were to see her for just the briefest of moments.
And just like those porcelain figurines her clothes are wrapped to her body, tight, leaving no room for extraneous material; yet it wasn’t what she was showing that was slowing driving him crazy with desire, it was what she was allowing no one to see.
Her stylish charcoal jacket echoes a faintly militaristic design, with its vertical zips pockets, row of metal buttons and an outer and inner zip line running from three quarter length to just below her marble carved chin. It holds he believes, all kinds of pleasure for him. Not least her neck which he simply knows will be so divine that it may well be the gateway to a heaven he’ll surely never want to leave.
“Shall I get the check?” She rhetorically asks as she commandingly beckons the waitress over.
They continue to talk like old flames hoping to re-ignite as he drives
the short distance to her house on the edge of the towns large Gothic cemetery.
“Interesting area to live,” he jokes carefully.
“Everyone’s dying to get in.” She says with a complicate grin.
Parked beneath a street light, which like an inquisitive stranger arcs forward from the front of her house bathing his car in an otherworldly orange glow, he seizes this perfect opportunity and moves in for the kill.
The kiss is pure passion.
He carefully slides his hand from her evening cold cheek past the perfect line of her jaw which grinds rhythmically with his own, before finally resting next to the branded zip that guards the entrance to her jacket.
With just a moments hesitation, he begins to pull purposely down, but only enough to allow him to follow his hands path with his tender kisses.
Her breathy sighs of pleasure accompany his journey, pressing his lips to her neck, it was all he imagined, so soft and smooth and…
… and then he feels a scar; round, the size of a cigarette burn. And then another. The two are only an inch apart.
He pulls back for a moment and stares intently at his discovery.
“That’s odd” he says with a playful smile, “They look like –”
The force that yanks his head back from hers is immense, he tries to pull forward but he simply cannot.
Pain grows quickly yet all he can do is look down the bridge of nose in a futile attempt to make sense of what is happening.
She growls like a rabid dog, saliva dripping from two hugely extended fangs. Her beautiful green eyes are now blood red. She lunges at his throat, biting deeply.
His life flickers, precariously balancing between extinction and fiery brilliance. It’s all a matter of control, she thinks, everything is a matter of control.
I feel a bead of sweat running down the centre of my spine, so I push back into the deep chocolate leather sofa that’s comfortably supported us through the past god-knows-how-many rounds, and let my already sodden shirt absorb it as best it can.My pack is almost dead and I’m already through this weeks cheque so I savour the last smoke I’ll pay for this week.
The distorted lounge music grinds throughout, seeping in and out of our superficial conversation, frequently obscuring words and meaning. The truth is, when you really don’t care about what is being said, you just let it go.
She’s probably talking about her mother not loving her or about the trouble she had in college or how no guys really understand her. I don’t really know what she’s talking about. I’m just nodding in all the right places and saying stuff like, “That’s too bad.”
Seems to be working just fine.
I say, “You’re beautiful hon. Why do you care what anyone else thinks of you?”
She says, “Oh, you’re just saying that to get me in to bed,”
'Course I am.
She’s okay to look at, I guess, if you’re a drunken disillusioned man in a dark late night bar in the crappy end of town. But then under those circumstances, so am I.
I say, “I’d have to be one lucky bastard to ever sleep with an interesting, intelligent, beautiful woman like you.”
She says, “You’re such a terrible flirt, keep saying stuff like that and you might just be in luck.”
I’d only really be in luck if a bolt of lightening struck me from the heavens and burnt out this graphite heart that’s been eating at my soul like rage filled cancer all these years.
Didn't used to be like this; no grey, no lines, no thousand yard stare, full of hope, full of joy, full of naïve stupidity.
She says, “Are you listening to me, handsome?”
I say “Yeah sweetheart, tell me some more about the dickhead that knocked you about.”
I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, stupid worthless whore.
You’re wrong about that. You find it so easy to forget that we’re all human beings out here. She's just like you and so am I, except we don't feel what you feel.
We’re damaged by years of trawling for love and finding only hollow reflections of ourselves in the haunted eyes of those that we share our dependence for counterfeit gratification.
She says, “Where you wanna go now?”
I want to go back to the start. I want to try again and this time maybe I’ll get it right and I can look from the outside in and say with you, ‘How can people live like that?’
I say, “I’ve got something that'll really get the party started back at mine.”
Where do I go from here? I’ll go to the same places in the same order with the same results.
She says, “Do you love me?”
I say, “’Course I do sweetheart, ‘course I do.”
You never know, with enough stuff up my nose and cheap whiskey down my throat, I just might.
I crush the empty pack in my fist and throw it on the floor. She gets her bag and we start the long crawl home.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
However, turns out I upset two of my other bestie chums for different reasons.
1. John. Okay so I admit for the past few months I have been seeking refuge at his house, variously on Friday and Saturday evenings. His house offers friendship, beer, curry and a good nights sleep. (I’ll go why this is so important to me another time).
So, a week ago I agreed to go round this weekend, I thought it was Saturday, he says Friday, he can’t do Saturday – I go ahead and arrange to see ‘My Best Friend’ leaving my actual best friend to feel that I’ve dropped him for a non-date with my newest meilleur ami.
2. Popular occasional blogger edwaado, my other BFF finds out from his good lady wife, with whom I had a very pleasant lunch on Friday that I’m off to the flicks and I haven’t invited him. Oops. He feels left out and pissed off at me.
I wouldn’t mind all the hassle but the fact is the movie was only ‘okay’, not great and certainly not a patch on the rest of Lecontes oeuvre (The Hairdresser's Husband, M. Hire, Ridicule, The Man on the Train to name a few).
Daniel Autueil learns in the film that you have to stop being selfish and self serving to have friends. Well, I manage to have friends and still be exceptionally selfish and pathologically self serving, but fuck me it can be hard work at times.
NEXT TIME: Why I’m moving to Brighton…
Clue: It’s not because I’m gay...
(not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Does all this talk of best friends and bff's make me sound about 12?
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Turning eleven had not been the momentous occasion Esmé hoped it would be.
She certainly felt older, and like all her friends she was beginning to feel more and more part of the wider world, as if all the companies and all the television programmes were aimed directly at her, which of course to certain degree they were.
Such huge changes had taken place over the past year that turning eleven held little joy, in fact she was already longing for her life before.
“Mum?” Esmé asked Lizzie.
“Yes, Ezz,” said her mother Lizzie who was writing the final chapter of her novel, ‘Having it all (not)’, an ironic look at what Lizzie believed was the modern myth of women who can juggle career, marriage and parenthood.
“When is Dad coming to collect me?”.
Lizzie sighed heavily, “He’s not coming today Ezz, I thought we’d already had this discussion.”
“But it’s Saturday, why isn’t he coming, Mum?”
“Ezz, I’m trying to work Sweetheart, can we talk about this later.”
“I just want to know why he’s not coming today.”
“He’s busy, Ezz.”
“Doing what?” Esmé protested.
“He’s in Japan with Emma.” Lizzie said before continuing to tap away at the tiny keyboard on her laptop.
How had their family become so crowded thought Esmé. Where once it was just her Mum, Dad, Esmé and her bother, now there was Emma, her fathers ‘friend’ and Aaron, the man who wrote those terrible books which always had mournful looking people staring out from the cover.
Her mother called Aaron's books, 'inspirational'; however, she had recently overheard her Aunt Heather describe them to her Father, Marcus as ‘miserable’ and ‘self-absorbed’. Esmé wasn’t certain what ‘self-absorbed' meant, but from the way her Aunt and rolled her eyes as she said it she knew it was not a compliment.
“But Mum, Dad said I could stay at this place straight after my birthday.”
“That was only a few weeks ago, Hon” said Lizzie without a moments break in her typing.
“No it wasn’t, I’m eleven years, one month and ten days old so that means it was six weeks ago.”
“You know Esmé, counting out your age like that is awfully childish, now please Hon,” Lizzie implored, “I need to work on this for a bit longer, then I promise we can do whatever you want.”
Esmé thought for a moment, and then responded adamantly, “I want to see my Dad.”
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
It's a piece I wrote as a radio play, so say unlike The Maddening Rain there is only sound direction. The good news is that this is a play I completed - I'm currently in the process of rewriting it all - I wrote the whole thing a few years back and it sucks big time in places, so I trying to make it better.
Sorry about the formatting - I'm still not getting to grips with this after a 6 month break.
As always, your thoughts, comments etc are most welcome.
ROME BABIES - A PLAY FOR RADIO
Sound: Fade in. We are in an office. A phone rings out in the in the distance before falling silent. This is quickly followed by a blind snapping shut.
DUNCAN: (COUGHS DRYLY, FOLLOWED BY NERVOUS BREATHING)
MAX: You listening closely Dunc?
DUNCAN: (NERVOUS) What do you want with me?
Sound: MAX slaps DUNCAN. DUNCAN screams in pain
MAX: Duncan, are you listening closely? Hmm...? I want you to listen to my joke.
DUNCAN: (SOBBING, DESPERATE) Why do you keep hitting me? I haven’t done anything.
MAX: Oh, but you have.
DUNCAN: I just work in a lab.
MAX: John decided life would be much easier if he had a clone.
DUNCAN: Why would he think that?
Sound: MAX slaps DUNCAN again. Again DUNCAN screams out in pain.
MAX: (SLOWLY, POINTEDLY) John decided life would be much easier if he had a clone.
(PAUSE, THEN NORMAL SPEED) So he went to see some clever little bods and had one made. Once it was ready he sent him out to work in his place. John meanwhile stayed home and relaxed.
At first everything was terrific, and John was very pleased with himself.
But you know what happens when you’re all smug about what you’ve done, don’t you Duncan?
DUNCAN: What? What do you mean?
MAX: You know Duncan, you know what happens when you think you’re so clever and nothing can touch you?
DUNCAN: No, no I don’t know what you mean, sorry, I don’t know.
MAX: Oh dear.
DUNCAN: Don’t hit me again, I’m begging you.
MAX: (WHISPERS) Eventually it’s going to backfire.
MAX: It backfires, see that’s what happens to John. One day his clone comes home and says that he’s been fired. John is stunned and immediately demands to know why. The clone explains that he’s been fired from John’s job for making lewd comments to the women in John’s office.
John is beside himself with rage so he decides he’ll get rid of his clone before things get any worse. Which is probably the first sensible thing John has done. So John takes his clone to the top of a tall building and pushes him off.
John watches as this exact replicate of himself falls screaming to his inevitable death. Again John is extremely pleased with his actions; he’s learnt nothing because as it turns out John was witnessed executing his double.
He is arrested and convicted on the charge of making an obscene clone fall.
DUNCAN: That’s not how it works.
DUNCAN: Cloning doesn’t work like that.
MAX: It was a joke Duncan, that’s all. Admittedly it was a terrible joke, but it does serve as a good introduction to what we will be talking about this evening.
DUNCAN: Please just let me go…
DUNCAN: But I haven’t done anything.
MAX: (SCREAMS) YES YOU HAVE, YES–YOU–HAVE!
DUNCAN: (CRYING OUT) FOR GOD SAKE SOMEONE HELP ME!
Sound: MAX slaps DUNCAN again and again and again. Then we hear MAX tape up DUNCANS mouth.
No more screaming out now.
(HEAVY SELF CHARMING BREATHE)
I’m sitting there in this traffic jam just the other day…
Hmm, just the other day,
Duncan are you listening?
Sound: MAX slaps DUNCAN again. DUNCAN mumbles an exasperated scream from behind the gag.
Good. I’m sitting there in this traffic jam. Sitting there and I’m getting increasingly angry. I dunno why at first, I can just feel it creeping up on me.
It’s just a typical Monday morning, cars backed up for miles. I can’t even see what the hold up is but I know it’s something trivial and it’s going to make me late. Again.
Sound: DUNCAN again mumbles an exasperated scream from behind the gag.
MAX: (MOCK FRUSTRATION) For God’s sake Duncan, do you not understand the conventions of story telling at all? What is it?
Sound: MAX tears the gag from DUNCANS face.
DUNCAN: (DESPERATE) Please, you’ve got to listen to me, you’ve got me confused with some else. I haven’t done anything…I’m not who you think I am, you’ve confused me with someone who’s done something to you, but it’s not me…
MAX: Hmm. That’s interesting, because that is a genuine possibility. I mean, you confused me with some else didn’t you? That’s why you let me in here.
DUNCAN: (CRYING) I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I thought you were Christian …I didn’t know…
MAX: (ANGRILY) I’M MAX! (CALMER) Now listen, because this is really important.
DUNCAN: (SOBS) But I haven’t mmmmm….
Sound: MAX reapplies the gag to DUNCAN there is a scuffle and heavy breathing as DUNCAN resists, but he is quickly overpowered by MAX
MAX: To recap, I’m sitting in my car, this crappy family saloon company car that has a broken climate control and no self drive, which as you know comes as standard in most cars today. I’m sitting there in this traffic, in this chaos and I’m really starting to burn up with rage.
All these things, all these things that I’ve kept under control for so long… my idiot boss threatening to fire me, my colleagues cheating me out of my paltry commission, my wife walking out on me…
The red mist is starting to descend, and I mean literally…I can feel this uncontrollable anger taking hold. My bloods boiling, my hearts pumping faster and faster. I’m sweating like crazy; I can feel a million microscopic insects biting into my flesh. tears pouring down my face.
I’m beating at the steering wheel with my fists, pulling the vinyl away from the stitching with my finger nails.
With my fingernails - I’ve seriously, seriously lost it.
When (PAUSE) all of a sudden, I feel calm. My breathing slows my body temperature falls. The red mists clears.
I’m calm now, at ease.
And it was the strangest feeling…but then you’d know all about that wouldn’t you?
Sound: Max slaps Duncan across the face.
MAX: I’m almost finished.
So I’m calm, really really chilled. Life suddenly feels like it’s worth living again, and I just can’t understand why I got so upset before.
(LAUGHS) Ha! Even the traffic’s moving now. I’m driving with a smile on my face, on the way to work, like a happy little Christian.
Like a happy little Max.
I’m okay; everything’s going to be fine.
…and as the traffic moves I get to the cause of the delay. It’s a basic slow moving traffic collision; they say that it can’t happen anymore, but we know better right? Both drivers are out of their cars and are going for it; really arguing the toss and getting in one another’s faces. The arms are waving about; fingers are pointing in all directions, the whole bit. I don’t know whose fault it is and I don’t care.
Then the driver of the car that got hit looks away from the woman he’s arguing with, just for a moment, and I see his face for the first time.
Guess who I see?
MAX: Hold on.
Sound: MAX again tears the gag from DUNCANS face.
MAX: (PAUSE, THEN ICY) Guess who I see?
DUNCAN: I don’t know I don’t know…
MAX: I see myself.
MAX: I see myself.
DUNCAN: Oh…. Oh no… no.
Sound: Fade out on Duncan sobbing. Fade up on what sounds like a baby inside a womb, a slow deep rhythmic beating of a tiny heart. This continues throughout the narration
ALISON: (NARRATION) You remember when it started, don’t you?
Not very well I bet, but you do remember that miracle sheep?
You probably won’t remember them telling us that we were stupid to worry about the consequences. It was after all, far too difficult to replicate it in humans. In fact, it would never be done. It was too hard, too difficult and too dangerous.
Then those two renegade doctors appeared, Zavos and Antinori with their two thousand volunteers and claims that we were only a year away from the first cloned baby.
Naturally there was outcry in the media but it never really became the headline news it needed to be. There was always something nore immediate to worry about. A little war here, a financial slump there.
So the research went on, relatively unopposed.
After all money was already changing hands.
It didn’t happen straight away, it did take time. But Zavos and Antinori and all the others who hadn’t been quite so vocal about their intentions used that time and they perfected the techniques required.
The scientists were closer than anyone ever believed.
Jose Cibelli cloned himself using a cow’s egg; he kept this secret for three years.
Dolly the miracle sheep was seven months old before her creators The Roslin institute went public about their remarkable achievement.
So, how long then, would the scientists working away on reproductive cloning take to reveal to the world a successfully cloned human being?
Never?…Not for a long long time?…Not in our lifetime?
This time next year maybe?
One day in the autumn of 2008, which was far sooner than we thought, we were introduced to a three-year-old boy called Tom, and his genetically identical copy, Tim.
It was then that the world stopped and listened and then we spoke.
We said how identical they were.
Which was crushingly obvious. On a genetic level, these two little boys were 99.9% identical.
We said that it was a crime against nature.
However we’ve been committing crimes against nature since the first day we dragged ourselves from the primordial sludge. Nature already had a compelling case against us, so really, what difference did this make?
Besides, nature had created clones. They were called twins, or triplets or whatever, we were just catching up.
We said that it was an outrage against humanity.
But really, what humanity? Out of sheer boredom you were stuffing your over fed face with a cheese burger made from a toxic cocktail of chemically fed bovine bi-product and genetically altered high yield wheat, whilst half a world away a family died of starvation.
So really, with what humanity did we have the audacity to make such a judgement?
We just looked on at two little boys that were one. Tim’s beaming smile full of confidence, Tom sucking his thumb and looking scared…
Or was that Tim?
Where there were once loopholes, laws were tightened. After all Governments had to be seen to be acting.
It was of course all too late, they were already here.
This is it. This is the future and we have lived here for almost twenty-five years.
Cloning is now officially illegal across the entire planet, and has been for over twenty years.
However, for the ten years that followed the statements made in Rome and in Washington DC in 2001 there was a period of extensive research, of extensive trials and of extensive failures.
They, being the teams of Scientist engaged in this race to be the first, operated from countries which had no formal regulations on either of the two cloning methods then available; embryo splitting and nuclear replacement.
It was just as Dr Brigitte Boisselier the Scientific Director of Clonaid had said;
“The demand is huge, the demand is there…this will be done,”
Done it was.
By 2013, the failure rate had dropped significantly, and demand was higher than ever. We never called them clones we called them Rome Babies.
In the year before the worldwide banning of all reproductive cloning, the Government in this country estimated the number of Rome Babies to be approximately three-quarters of a million.
Three quarters of a million children aged between 2 months and 6 years old.
The trouble was not just that there were so many, it was the fact the Government really did not know who they all were, or indeed, where they all were. The same was true across Europe, into Asia, through Australia, Africa and the United States.
President Richard Taylor made an address to the American public in 2015 that stated that the menace of human reproductive cloning and any associated long-term threats would be stopped, at whatever cost.
What a cost it is.
All known Rome Babies must be registered.
All known Rome Babies have restriction of movement within the United States of America and in the United States of Europe.
All known Rome Babies are genetically tagged for security reasons.
All known Rome Babies are automatically sterilised.
If you are found to be a Rome Baby and you have not declared your status you are prosecuted and jailed.
Any child of a Rome Baby is automatically exposed to the same restrictions, including enforced sterilisation, at whatever age.
If you are found to be harbouring a Rome Babies without surrendering them to authorities, you are liable to spend a lot of time in jail.
If you are found to be engaging in any form of research toward an aim of reproductive human cloning you are also liable to spend a lot of time in jail.
As you already know, China had it's own methods of dealing with Rome Babies.
The question is how can we treat Rome Babies this way? After all, are they not our fellow human beings? The intention of these laws is to stop the very act of human reproductive cloning for whatever reason. They are not about the individual; they are about the concept.
We could not have grasped the impact these laws would have on the individual. How could we? When President Taylor made his address, the eldest clone alive was only eight years old.
No one ever thought to ask the simple question…
How will you feel to know you are a clone?
To know that you are nothing more than a copy?
Sound: The sound of a heavy wind rushing over a hill top somewhere in North Wales.
GREG: I can’t see anything from here.
GREG: I can’t see the entrance properly from up here, it’s too dark.
ALISON: Give me the binoculars.
GREG: Fine, see for yourself.
ALISON: Hmm… why didn’t we bring the night sight?
GREG: I don –
ALISON: (CUTS) Okay got it.
ALISON: Yeah sure, I can see the office block.
GREG: Can you see the cooling towers to the right of the building?
Sound: Pages rustles as Greg spreads the map out.
GREG: According to the plans, you should look up and to the left of the three large cooling towers, past the row of loading bays.
ALISON: Hold on…yeah, got them.
GREG: And the main research lab should be a …erm, a three storey building with a gatehouse out front.
ALISON: This is the eastern staff entrance isn’t it?
GREG: Yes, yes of course it is.
ALISON: Okay then I can see it.
GREG: Well, what’s happening?
ALISON: Nothing is happening.
GREG: He’s already late.
ALISON: What time do you have?
GREG: It’s gone nine.
ALISON: Right then, where the hell is Max? He should be out by now.
Sound: Birds twitter and there is a distinct sound of a gentle babbling brook. An electric car is coming towards us, pulls up. An electric whirr as the car window is lowered.
KIM: (FROM INSIDE THE CAR) Who are you?
MAX: (OUTSIDE THE CAR) What?
KIM: What’s your name?
KIM: Max what?
MAX: Max Hollingham.,. erm, M, Maximum 10.
KIM: Maximum 10?
MAX: Er... yeah.
KIM: Okay Max, I’m Kim, now get in we need to move.
Sound: We’re in the car now and we can hear the electric engine motoring away in the background and muffled electronic traffic reports.
KIM: Max, this is Alison. You’ve spoken before.
MAX: I don’t think…
ALISON: You know me as Louise Brown.
MAX: Oh, er…
KIM: We’re treated like right wing extremists Max. You must have seen us on telly?
MAX: I don’t really watch the news, well not until recently that is...
ALISON: The media talk about us in the same breath as the Pro-Life anti-abortionists, ‘right to lifers’.
KIM: Terrorists, murdering innocent scientists and benevolent right minded thinkers.
MAX: Why do they think that?
ALISON: A scientist we were investigating died. We got blamed.
MAX: Oh. (PAUSE) So how many of you are there?
ALISON: Can’t tell you that at the moment Max.
KIM: But, we can tell you Max is that you’re with friends now .
MAX: (TO HIMSELF) Right.
Sound: Fade out. Fade up the windy hill top in North Wales.
ALISON: Something’s obviously gone wrong.
GREG: Rubbish. Nothing’s happening down there, the security hasn’t moved in hours. It’s just another windy night in North Wales.
ALISON: Max should have finished by now.
GREG: Perhaps he can’t find anything.
ALISON: (PAUSE) That’s it, I can’t wait any longer.
Sound: There is a small scuffle as Greg tries to pull Alison down by her coat.
GREG: Alison what the hell do you think you’re doing?
ALISON: I can’t just sit here and wait Greg. Something’s happened, I can’t just wait, I’m going down there.
END OF PART ONE
I will write part two I promise.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Yep, Spleenal, a pal from my past, present and hopefully future wrote this years ago for a series of very terrific self published comic books.
The main character, Inspector Trap is a balding, over weight everyday hero cop investigating a series of unusual cases.
What I loved about Inspector Trap and The Maddening Rain was the way Spleenal effortlessly mixed ordinary life with hyper weirdness - and he did this BEFORE the X-Files hit big and Buffy was still a shitty movie we watched purely for the genius of Paul Rubens.
Anyway, half a decade ago I wrote a screenplay of The Maddening Rain, simply as an exercise to see if I could. I don't even think Spleenal has seen this.
The Maddening Rain
1. EXT. AN ARIAL VIEW OF THE CITY – ESTABLISH – DAY
The Arial shot holds for a few seconds as we take in where we are, then suddenly it descends faster and faster, plummeting from the sky. As we close in on a busy street we can make out the tiny figures of Citizens and in particular the partially bald-head of Inspector Peter Trap. We have almost fallen to his head when he looks up in horror.
2. EXT. SEMI-DETACHED OF THE BROWNS – ESTABLISH – DAY
JOHN (V.O): Have you finished in there yet Jan?
3. INT. A kitchen OF THE BROWNS – Day
JANET, a middle-aged woman is cleaning the floor of this ordinary kitchen by hand.
JANET: Almost done.
JOHN (V.O): Good, when you’ve done that you can get down the ‘offee and get me some more beers.
4. INT. The Lounge OF THE BROWNS – Continuous – Day
JOHN, a fat middle-aged balding man sits in a big armchair, the TV is blaring out – A Football match. He has a beer can in his hand, and many more empties on the coffee table next to him.
JANET (V.O): You haven’t drunk all those already John?
JOHN shifts round in his chair to face the kitchen behind.
JOHN: (Angry) What if I have?
JANET appears at the kitchen door looking into the lounge.
JANET: (Nervous) Nothing –
JOHN: (Shifts back to face the TV) Good. Oh and make sure you get cans, can’t be doing with those bloody bottles.
5. INT. The Kitchen OF THE BROWNS – Continuous – Day
JANET carefully walks to the sink and starts to wash out the cloth she has used to clean the floor. As she does she stares out the window in front of her.
6. Ext. the garden OF THE BROWNS – Continuous – Day
ANGLE: Looking in at JANET looking out.
JANET: Looks like it’s coming on to rain.
7. EXT. The town high street - Establish – Day
The town is bustling with busy shoppers. All town life is represented from teenagers to grannies, from wealthy middle-aged women to beggars with hand written cardboard signs and dogs. There is also a crazed looking young man with a sandwich board, which reads on the front: BEWARE THE RAIN and the reverse reads: BEWARE THE MADNESS. This is scrawled in red paint, or quite possibly – blood.
He stands on the pavement and watches as TRAP drives up in his car.
8. INT. Traps car – Continuous – Day
TRAP, an over weight, balding man with a thin goatee beard is driving with HUTCHINGS – a detective in her thirties sitting next to him reading a report from a brown folder.
The car pulls up on double yellow lines outside a newsagent.
HUTCHINGS: Is there anything you want Guv?
TRAP: Get me a packet of cheese and onion crisps Emma.
HUTCHINGS: (getting out the car) Right you are.
TRAP lowers the window of the car and looks around the street as he waits for his partner to return.
9. EXT. The town high street – continuous – Day
ANGLE: The Sandwich board man - HERALD looking over at TRAP
HERALD: (At TRAP – Shouting) The Future…The Future!
10. INT. Traps Car – Continuous – Day
TRAP is alerted by HERALD and looks over directly at him.
HEARLD (V.O): I Have seen what will be – beware!
11. EXT. The town high street – continuous – Day
HERALD: (Cont’d) I have seen what is to be – The Maddening Rain.
CLOSE ON: HERALDS face, rapidly becoming increasingly manic.
HERALD: (Cont’d) Insanity from the Heavens. It rains, it rains, it rains, it rains insane, it rains…
12. INT. Traps Car – Continuous – Day
TRAP is still watching the crazed HERALD. Shoppers are now stopping and listening to HERALD’s deranged ravings. But still HERALD directs his apocalyptic message at TRAP.
HEARLD (V.O): (Cont’d) Pollution, The gasses we can’t see, can’t smell, can’t feel. Toxins on my skin, in the air, the air we breathe.
13. EXT. The town high street – continuous – Day
ANGLE: HERALD looking over at TRAP
The view of Trap is now blocked by the small group of onlookers forming around HERALD. HERALD stops his rant momentarily and surges forward toward TRAPS car (on the opposite side of the road). As HERALD pushes forward he knocks an elderly woman to the ground, he ignores this and pushes forward anyway.
Once he can see TRAP again he continues to rave.
HERALD: (Cont’d) It’s in the clouds, it’s in the clouds and it’s coming. The sickness… the insanity. The madness above. The Maddening Rain…
14. INT. Traps Car – Continuous – Day
ANGLE: Behind Trap looking over at HERALD as he steps out into the road
still staring at TRAP.
HERALD: (Cont’d): The Maddening Rain…
15. EXT. The town high street – continuous – Day
CLOSE ON: HERALDS face, suddenly he calms and starts to smile, softly.
16. INT. Traps Car – Continuous – Day
CLOSE ON: TRAPS face. TRAP goes from looking very confused - to responding to HERALDS sudden change by smiling back.
17. EXT. The town high street – continuous – Day
ANGLE: The crowd look over at HERALD as he walks toward TRAPS Car.
Suddenly out of no where a white van ploughs into HERALD, knocking him sideways into TRAPS car. The front of the sandwich board is torn free due to the violence of the impact and flies at TRAPS window. TRAP instinctively pulls back but is caught on the bridge of the nose by the board.
18. INT. Traps Car – Continuous – Day
HERALD lies face up on TRAPS bonnet. TRAP, breathless with shock at what has just occurred stares out at HERALDS lifeless body. TRAPS nose bleeds profusely down his jet black tie, soaking into his clean white shirt.
And then TRAP gets it together and gets out the car.
19. EXT. The town high street – continuous – Day
TRAP kneels down beside HERALD.
TRAP: Everythings gonna be okay.
A crowd is now forming around the car.
TRAP: (Cont’d - shouts) Someone get an ambulance!
HERALD: (Choking on his own blood) Ugh…lis…listen.
TRAP: (To HERALD) Don’t try to speak—
HERALD: (Opens his eyes and glares at TRAP) Beware the rain…
The VAN DRIVER appears behind TRAP he is clearly shocked and is speaking to anyone who will listen in the crowd that has formed around TRAPS car.
VAN DRIVER: I just didn’t see him he came out of know where…
TRAP: What’s your name son?
HERALD: (Confused, closes eyes) I…can’t remember…
VAN DRIVER: Why wasn’t he looking, stupid bastard…
TRAP takes one of HERALDS hands.
TRAP: Doesn’t matter.
HERALD: (Looking up at the dark clouds in the sky) Looks like rain.
VAN DRIVER: There was no way I could have avoided him!
20. INT. CASUALTY DEPARTMENT OF HOSPITAL – DAY – LATER
TRAP sits on a bed in curtained cubicle, a nurse is stitching the gash on the bridge of his noise. Hutchings stands just at the entrance of the cubicle with Peterson – Chief Inspector. Peterson is a tall thin-set man in his late fifties. He has a narrow band of hair, which hardly rises above the tops of his ears.
PETERSON: (To HUTCHINGS) So where were you when all this was going on?
HUTCHINGS: I was getting some fags, Sir.
TRAP: I already told you what happened, Sir.
HUTCHINGS: From the witnesses statements it looks like this guy was a nutter.
PETERSON: A nutter, Detective Hutchings?
HUTCHINGS: Care in the community, what a joke!
PETERSON: And he couldn’t remember his name?
TRAP: No Sir.
PETERSON: And you’re sure you heard him correctly.
TRAP: (Getting agitated by PETERSON) Yes Sir!
NURSE: Stop moving or this will take longer and hurt more.
TRAP: (At NURSE) OWWA!.
PETERSON: (To HUTCHINGS) How is the man?
HUTCHINGS: They’re working on him now SIr.
The NURSE puts a rather large bandage on TRAPS nose.
TRAP: (To NURSE) Is this necessary?
NURSE: No, not if you don’t mind getting an infection in the wound and then coming back here for more serious treatment.
TRAP: Ow! Who trained you? – the SS?
NURSE: Now if you’ll just stay still for a moment longer you’ll be back on the street arresting members of minority groups on trumped up charges.
TRAP shots the nurse a look of ‘touché’
A DOCTOR appears in his theatre scrubs.
DOCTOR: Which one of you gentlemen is TRAP?
HUTCHINGS gestures toward TRAP.
TRAP: I’m Inspector Trap, how’s the patient?
PETERSON: Can I have a word please Doctor?
DOCTOR: And you are?
PETERSON: Chief Inspector Peterson.
DOCTOR: Goodness, does the poor man currently residing in intensive care really warrant such attention?
PETERSON: No…I was actually here on another matter.
HUTCHINGS: None of our business Sir?
PETERSON: I don’t know. (To TRAP) TRAP I want you to talk to Dr Trunz after you’re patched up.
DOCTOR: If you’ll excuse me gentlemen.
The Doctor leaves.
TRAP: Which department is this Dr Trunz in Sir?
NURSE: (Not looking away from what she is doing) The psychiatric ward.
TRAP shoots a look at HUTCHINGS.
NURSE: (Cont’d) All done.
PETERSON: Right, I’ll see the pair of you later then.
TRAP: What is it you want me to speak with this Doctor about Sir?
PETERSON: He may have some information that is relevant to this case.
TRAP: What case?
PETERSON: The man you just saw knocked down in the street.
TRAP: But that’s all there is.
PETERSON: (Slowly) Speak to Doctor Trunz.
TRAP: Yes Sir.
PETERSON: Oh and Hutchings…
PETERSON: Get your hair cut.
PETERSON turns and leaves. HUTCHINGS shoots TRAP a ‘Cheeky bastard’
NURSE: (To TRAP – Pointing at the bandage) Keep that clean.
TRAP: (Cheeky) Yes Miss.
HUTCHINGS: What was all that about the hair?
TRAP: (Distracted) I don’t know.
HUTCHINGS: Just because he hasn’t got any hair.
TRAP starts putting his clothes back on, first his tie, then his jacket.
TRAP: I wouldn’t let Peterson hear you talking about his lack of hair if I were you.
The NURSE looks up at TRAP, then directly at his thinning thatch.
TRAP: (Cont’d) Besides which male pattern baldness is a sign of virility. It’s caused by high levels of male hormones.
TRAP now fully dressed nods toward the NURSE then walks out the cubicle
HUTCHINGS : (Looking at the NURSE, but to TRAP) ‘Course you’re not
that gifted in the hair department yourself, are you Sir?
TRAP (V.O) Come along Hutchings.
21. INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS - DAY
HUTCHINGS: I assume that this Doctor Trunz is a psychiatrist or something?
TRAP: I’m not keen on psychiatrist.
HUTCHINGS: Perhaps they can help explain some of that pent up repression you seem to be carrying.
TRAP turns quickly and points at HUTCHINGS.
TRAP: Now you look here Hutchings, I don’t like having the piss taken out of me, not by the work, not by my seniors, and most defiantly not by some detective only five minutes out of the plods. Do you understand me?
HUTCHINGS: (Taken aback) Yes Sir, Sorry Sir.
TRAP: I know you’ve got something to prove, and I appreciate that. In time you’re gonna be a great Detective but right now I need your support, okay?
HUTCHINGS: Yes Sir, understood.
TRAP turns and walk off down the corridor, HUTCHINGS hesitates for a
moment, possibly reflecting on her dressing down.
TRAP (V.O): Besides which, I am not repressed.
HUTCHINGS gives a ‘yeah right’ look.
22. INT. Doctor Trunzs office – Day – Later
TRUNZ sits behind his desk, while TRAP looks at the books on the shelves and HUTCHINGS stands attentively at the back of the room.
DR TRUNZ: Well I don’t know what you want to hear Inspector, I’ve just told your Chief Inspector all I know.
TRAP: Well now you can tell me.
DR TRUNZ: Can I ask you a question Inspector?
TRAP: You can ask.
DR TRUNZ: How do you feel?
DR TRUNZ: How do you feel?
TRAP: I’ve just seen a rather nasty accident and had this happen (gestures to nose). So, you tell me.
DR TRUNZ: (Shifting forward in his seat) Recently you’ve been feeling anxious, almost to the point of having short panic attacks, over the last week this feeling of uneasiness has grown. Now you can’t sleep at night, you lay awake and you think about the future and this makes your anxiety far more intense, if only you could identify exactly what the anxiety stems from.
TRAP: And this is what Peterson wanted me to talk to you about?
DR TRUNZ: We usually have approximately twenty patients in the psychiatric ward with about one hundred outpatients. Within the last fourteen days ninety of our outpatients have either re-admitted themselves or have had to be re-emitted. That plus a few new faces and we now have a hundred and thirty inpatients, and the number is rising. We’ve already had to open a closed ward to accommodate the increase in volume.
HUTCHINGS: So what’s causing this?
TRAP: Was that lad we brought in one of your patients?
DR TRUNZ: I don’t know who he was and I don’t know what’s causing it.
TRAP: So what can you tell us then?
DR TRUNZ: I can tell you that all these people have dread, Gentlemen, dread for the future. They believe that very soon something huge and terrible is going to happen to them, to everyone. (He pauses and contemplates what he has just said, then slowly nods) And I feel it also. Probably you feel it. It’s just that our patients are more sensitive to this zeitgeist. They feel the dread but are somewhat ill equipped to rationalise their fear. But they know its coming… all of them.
CLOSE ON: TRAP Shooting HUTCHINGS a look.
23. EXT. RETAIL PARK ELECTRICAL STORE – ESTABLISH – DAY
A Car pulls into the busy car park and circles looking for a parking space.
24. INT. THE SECURITY GUARDS CAR – CONTINUOUS – DAY
ROBERT the security guard circles in his car looking for a space.
The Prodigy blares out from his car stereo.
25. INT. MANAGER OF THE STORES OFFICE – DAY
The Manager of the store sits at his desk working away at his PC. There is a tap the door.
The door opens and ROBERT the Security Guard steps in.
ROBERT: Mr Briggs?
MANAGER: (Not looking up) Yes.
ROBERT: I’m Robert Bishop, the new Security Guard.
MANAGER: Arh good, come in come in, push the door to.
26. INT. THE CORRIDOR TO MANAGERS OFFICE – CONTINUOUS - DAY
The door to the manager’s office shuts. After a moment two members of staff cross by in the corridor. The first a middle-aged woman has her coat on. The other, a young lad is in his uniform.
WOMAN: Off home then?
YOUNG LAD: Yeah, thank Christ.
WOMAN: Hope you’ve got a brolley, it’s coming on to rain.
27. EXT. THE HOSPITAL CAR PARK – DAY – LATER
TRAP and HUTCHINGS walk to the car. Neither speak, both look lost in thought.
28. INT. Traps car – CONTINUOUS - Day
HUTCHINGS drives out the hospital and up through town. Still neither TRAP nor his partner speak.
29. EXT. HIGH STREET – CONTINUOUS – DAY
TRAP stops at a set of traffic lights.
TRAP (V.O): What do you think?
HUTCHINGS (V.O) About what Sir?
30. INT. Traps car – CONTINUOUS - Day
TRAP: About the Shrinks prophecy of doom.
TRAP: Do you believe that?
HUTCHINGS: Dunno Guv.
The lights change and HUTCHINGS pulls away. She looks over at TRAP who seems lost in thought.
HUTCHINGS: What do you reckon Guv?
TRAP: (Distracted) I was just think about an old friend of mine.
HUTCHINGS: Is it connected to what Trunz was talking about?
TRAP: I dunno, it’s just something Trunz said about feelings of dread, made me think of Samuel.
HUTCHINGS: In what way Guv?
TRAP: Do you believe in God, Emma?
HUTCHINGS: I don’t really know Guv, haven’t really put much thought into it – do you?
TRAP: Me? – no, no not at all.
HUTCHINGS: This friend, this Samuel is he a believer then is he?
TRAP: Well, he claims he doesn’t, but he told me the strangest story, and I’ve just realised that that was when I started having this really unsettled feeling (taps his chest).
HUTCHINGS: Like Trunz said?
TRAP: Yeah, exactly as Trunz described.
There is a few moments of silence between the pair. TRAP stares off into the
distance, deep in thought, HUTCHINGS pulls over to the side of the road and
stops the engine, she then turns to speak directly to TRAP.
HUTCHINGS: If you don’t mind me asking Sir, what was it this friend of yours told you?
TRAP: Its probably just bollocks.
HUTCHINGS raises her eyebrows in a ‘I’m ready to listen’ way.
31. INT. TRAPS LOCAL BOOZER – FLASHBACK – NIGHT
ANGLE: Behind the bar.
We can see SAMUEL an elderly gentleman with deep dark sad eyes sitting in front of us, mournfully nursing a pint. In the distance we can see the lounge door opening and TRAP entering. He has a newspaper in his hand, which he is using as a substitute umbrella. He is quite wet from the rain. He gets to the bar and notices that it is SAMUEL.
TRAP: Evening Samuel, how ya doin’ you old git?
SAMUEL: Ok, I suppose, Inspector Trap.
TRAP: (Leans in) Please Sam, call me Peter, don’t want any of these old rogues knowing that you’re chatting to the Old Bill now do we?
SAMUEL: No Peter, I suppose you are right.
TRAP: Can I get you a pint? Looks like that ones dead.
SAMUEL: (Heavy sigh) No thank you Peter, I’m not really in the mood for drinking.
BARMAN: Yes mate?
TRAP: Pint of Bitter please mate, (TO SAMUEL) Sure?
SAMUEL nods affirmatively, then looks back down at his pint. TRAP hands
the BARMAN a note and the BARMAN gets his change then he goes about
getting TRAPS pint.
TRAP: (To SAMUEL) Is everything alright Sam?
SAMUEL nods again, still looking down into his pint.
TRAP: (Cont’d) Do you want to talk about it?
SAMUEL looks up slightly and looks over at the BARMAN who has his back
to the pair. TRAP nods, understanding that SAMUEL doesn’t want to speak in
front of the BARMAN.
BARMAN: (Turning round) One pint of bitter.
TRAP takes a large swig of it before motioning to SAMUEL with his head to a
free table in the corner of the bar. SAMUEL gets his drink and they both go
over to the corner table and sit.
TRAP: You look like you the world on your shoulders there Sam.
SAMUEL: (Heavy sigh) Do you believe in God?
TRAP looks confused, but doesn’t answer
SAMUEL: You know I never really believed in God or the Devil or Heaven or any of that when I was a kid. I was absolutely sure there was nothing, I was positive, I was positive with all my youthful arrogance that I was an atheist. No question about it. Fifty-three years ago that was. No one was an atheist back then, least they didn’t advertise it in public like I did.
TRAP: You always get the impression that everyone had some form of religion back then. I bet your folks weren’t greatly happy with you…
SAMUEL: They were only ones who never knew… I never told them. They would have gone through the roof.
TRAP: I bet they would have as well. My mothers never out of the Church herself… strict Catholic you see.
TRAP: ‘Cause when you’re a kid you don’t really think about it much, you just think that’s the way it is…
TRAP takes a swig of beer
TRAP: (Cont’d) I haven’t been in Church for years, not since Dad died. Devout Catholic, that’s what I was, believed in the divine goodness of God and then my old man who never hurt anyone, never heard him complain, worked his whole life providing for his family and raising them as best as he could gets cancer at thirty-seven.
TRAP scratches his beard.
TRAP: (Cont’d) Dead at thirty-eight. I went to our Church that night, y’know to get some answers… I looked up at the cross, guess what I got.
TRAP: Silence. Nothing but Silence.
TRAP taps SAMUELS pint glass with his own in solidarity.
TRAP: (Cont’d) Joined the club.
SAMUEL: Well I don’t know so much.
TRAP: Are you still a non-believer then Sam?
SAMUEL: A friend of mine once asked me to prove to him that I was an atheist.
TRAP: How? How do you prove something like that?
SAMUEL: He asked me to sell my soul to him.
SAMUEL: If I didn’t believe then selling my soul wouldn’t mean anything.
TRAP: What did you do?
SAMUEL: He went really serious and without an expression on his face he turned in his chair and looked right at me, right in the eye, if I had a soul I felt like he was looking right into it. He told me that he wasn’t Gavin Daler at all.
SAMUEL nervously takes a sip of his pint. He is visibly shaking.
SAMUEL: (Cont’d) He said he was the Devil. But seeing as how I didn’t believe in any of that it wouldn’t matter, couldn’t rightly sell what I didn’t have, could I? If I really was an atheist…
TRAP: What did you do?
SAMUEL: I sold him my soul.
TRAP: How much was it, The price for your soul?
SAMUEL: The price of a pint of bitter.
TRAP looks confused/ shocked, he swills the remaining bitter in his glass round and round, closely watching it.
SAMUEL: (Cont’d) He wrote out a short contract on a small scrap of paper. He signed it, and then I signed it. He even got the barman to witness it. Then he bought me a pint.
TRAP: How long ago was that?
SAMUEL: Fifty-two years.
TRAP: Fifty-two years ago?
TRAP: What happened to Gavin?
SAMUEL: Dunno… I never saw him again after that night. But I never forgot what I did. Not for one day.
TRAP: But you don’t really believe he was the Devil?
SAMUEL: Like I said, I don’t know so much, I’m just not sure anymore. I’ve avoided religion my whole life, just in case I catch it and start believing. Thing is, I’m seventy-four years old and I can feel death creeping up on me and I’m afraid. Afraid.
TRAP: Everyone fears dying Sam.
SAMUEL: I’m not afraid of dying, not as such, I’m just afraid that when I do finally die that’s when I’ll see Gavin Daler again. When he comes to collect.
TRAP just looks at SAMUEL not really knowing what to say, after a deep
TRAP: Oh come on Sam, lighten up mate, you didn’t really sell your soul. Its just one of those stupid things you do when your drunk.
SAMUEL: I was never more sober then when I signed that scrap of paper. I can remember that moment as clear as if it happened yesterday. I sold my soul to the Devil, that’s what I did.
TRAP: (ANGRY) You did not sell your soul, you don’t believe in any of that bollocks and nor do I, it’s like Marx said, its just opium for the masses.
SAMUEL: That’s what you think is it?
TRAP: Yeah that’s what I think.
SAMUEL: You don’t believe in the God and the Devil and that…?
TRAP: No I don’t.
SAMUEL turns in his seat and stares at TRAP full on.
SAMUEL: Prove it.
32. EXT. Traps car IN A RESIDENTIAL STREET– Day
HUTCHINGS (V.O): What did you do Sir? Did you sign anything.
TRAP(V.O): Did I bollocks.
33. INT. Traps car – CONTINUOUS - Day
HUCTHINGS: What about your friend?
TRAP: It’s like Trunz said, he’s got these strong feelings of dread, and he translates that as this one event from his past.
HUTCHINGS: Where to next then?
TRAP: I’m thinking maybe we should pay him a visit, see if he’s alright.
HUTCHINGS: Community policing ey Sir?
34. EXT. CANAL PATHWAY, UNDER AN OVERPASS - DAY
Two men are standing in the shadows under the bridge. Both are scruffy and
look as if they have been sleeping rough. One man stands in front of the
other. They do not looking at one another.
MONARCH: Yes my friend. What is it?
SEAN: There are many rumours circulating.
MONARCH: What do these rumours pertain?
SEAN: They speak of the future, it is uncertain what it holds.
MONARCH: And those that see?
SEAN: Clara says that it is the end of the world.
MONARCH: I love Clara much as a son might love his mother, but this does not cloud my judgement. Clara is seldom right.
SEAN: Yes Monarch.
MONARCH: Tell me, what does Oswald have to say on this matter?
SEAN: Oswald is missing Monarch, some say he is lost to us.
MONARCH: Then this is cause for much concern. I have the greatest respect for Oswalds precognitive ability. I would value his opinion on this time, highly.
SEAN: But what of your own power? They say there is nothing the Monarch can not predict.
MONARCH: The future is not carved in stone Sean, it is written in sand. Once you can see that, you can see that sand shifts in even the gentlest breeze. There is a great storm coming.
SEAN: A storm Monarch?
MONARCH: It is in a human’s nature to fear the unknown and to hate what it fears. It is also in a human’s nature to fear change. And if there is one single thing I have a certain of it is that things change.
SEAN: Yes Monarch.
MONARCH: And that shit does happen.
MONARCH: We, who have nothing to lose and everything to gain have no fear. Every end is a new beginning, death, as Pan once said, is the last of the great adventures.
SEAN: Pan Monarch?
MONARCH: Go forth young Sean, go forth with the Heralds and spread the word.
SEAN: What is the word Monarch?
MONARCH: Tell them, tell them all to embrace the future, never fear it, never fight it.
SEAN: Let your mind go and your body will follow?
MONARCH turns and looks at SEAN for the first time, SEAN looks fearful.
MONARCH: Yes Sean, That’s a good one, I’ll have to remember it.
34. EXT. SAMUELS HOUSE – DAY
SAMUELS is a large imposing victorian house. The garden is over grown and all the curtains are closed. TRAP and HUTCHINGS are standing at the gate looking up at the house.
HUTCHINGS: This Samuels house then is it?
HUTCHINGS: Quite an imposing place.
HUTCHINGS: Not bad, perhaps I should sell my soul to the Devil.
TRAP starts to walk up the path to the front door.
TRAP: You did when you became a detective.
TRAP starts to knock at the front door.
TRAP: (Cont’d) SAM?
HUTCHINGS walks up the path and tries to see in through the ground floor windows.
TRAP: (Cont’d) SAM? Are you in there? (To HUTCHINGS) Can you see anything Emma?
35. INT. SAMUELS HOUSE – CONTINUOUS - DAY
ANGLE: Looking at the curtains, slowly pulling back.
HUTCHINGS (V.O): (Cont’d) Looks like he’s out then.
TRAP (V.O): Yeah I suppose so.
HUTCHINGS (V.O): Hold on a sec Guv…I think I can see something.
Pull back to reveal a chair on its side in the middle of the room and a pair of
legs limply hanging in the air.
TRAP (V.O): What can you see?
HUTCHINGS (V.O.)That’s odd, there’s a chair … (sudden realisation) OH SHIT!
36. EXT. THE CLOUDS – DAY
Big dark clouds are gathering over head.
37. EXT. THE CITY – CONTINUOUS – DAY
People go about their business, shopping, browsing, chatting, working. The clouds cast shadows across the city.
38. INT. KAYS HOUSE – HALLWAY – DAY – LATER
ANGLE: We are following KAY down the corridor and to the front door. This she opens and standing out in the street are TRAP and HUTCHINGS.
TRAP: Kay, this is Detective Hutchings…
TRAP: (Cont’d) I suppose you know why were here.
39. EXT. KAYS HOUSE – CONTINUOUS – DAY
ANGLE: From across the road we see TRAP and HUTCHINGS at the door with KAY standing in the door way, after a few moments she gestures them in and they enter.
40. INT. KAYS HOUSE – LOUNGE – DAY
KAY sits in a big armchair in one corner of the room, she has a large brandy in her hand. TRAP sits on the sofa in front of KAY listening intently to her. HUTCHINSON sits at the back of the room on a chair round the dinner table.
TRAP: I knew your mother could see.
KAY: And how did you know I could as well?
TRAP: I guessed.
KAY: Poor Uncle Sam, I never thought he’d do something so stupid.
TRAP: I spoke with him on a couple of days ago.
KAY: He told you did he?
TRAP: About the contract?
KAY: So he did tell you.
TRAP: I suppose he couldn’t wait any longer.
KAY: I didn’t see his clearly, I could only see that someone close to me had died. When I saw you pull up I knew it was Uncle Sam.
TRAP: I wish I’d gone round to see him sooner.
KAY: We’re all feeling the anxiety Peter.
TRAP: You know about that do you?
KAY: Yeah I know about it.
TRAP: What does the future hold Kay?
KAY: The awful truth is that I don’t know. (Turns to HUTCHINGS) I can remember my own birth, and even before that, can you imagine?
HUTCHINGS sakes her head – no.
KAY: (Cont’d) Being in the womb, you never know security like it ever again. I remember my birth, it was no surprise, and I’ve never been surprised, not once, because I can see the future… Always have. Do you know I haven’t worked a single day in my life?
TRAP: I didn’t know that, no.
KAY: Neither did my mother.
TRAP: I knew that.
KAY: We never had to, I get all my money from betting.
HUTCHINGS: How enterprising.
TRAP shoots HUTCHINGS a ‘shut up’ look. HUTCHINGS raises her
eyebrows and looks away.
KAY: Horses, Dogs, Football, Cars the Christmas number one. You can bet on anything you want. And I always win. But there is nothing after tonight.
KAY: I can’t see past midnight. There is nothing, just blackness.
41. EXT. THE HIGH STREET – OUTSIDE A BETTING SHOP – DAY
MONARCH sits with two other young men. People walking past don’t even spare them a fleeting glance, they may just as well be invisible.
MONARCH: Can you feel it Edward?
EDWARD: Feel what Monarch?
MONARCH: The coming storm.
GABRIEL: Why do you greet the storm with a smile Monarch? We are without shelter, we hate the cold, the wind and the rain.
MONARCH: No Gabriel, this storm will bring us salvation, the current, up and out of the gutter will carry us, for this one night. For this one night we will cease to be beggers… we will be takers.
EDWARD: I can feel it Monarch.
MONARCH: Then it is starting.
42. INT. KAYS HOUSE – LOUNGE - CONTINUOUS – DAY
TRAP: What does it mean, if you can’t see the future?
KAY: I just don’t know, it may mean that I’m going to die
HUTCHINGS: It could also mean that we’re all going to die.
KAY: It could. In a way I can’t stand the waiting. I just want it would be over with. I want what’s going to happen to happen.
TRAP: I suppose that’s how Samuel felt.
KAY: I’m completely blind, I’ve never felt so vulnerable. I can’t sleep Peter, I’m beginning to lose it. I have to knock myself out at night with pills, and when I do wake up…
KAY: I wake up screaming, the sheets are drenched in sweat. (KAY looks at HUTCHINGS) I haven’t had a period in months…
HUTCHINGS nods in agreement, TRAP looks confused.
KAY: (Cont’d) I’m getting vertigo more and more, even when I’m just walking around the house. I’m afraid of crowds, I’m afraid of small spaces… I don’t know what’s going to happen Peter but I’m scarred.
TRAP: What about the rain?
TRAP: What about the rain?
KAY looks suddenly shocked.
KAY: Oh my God!
KAY breaks down, TRAP rushes to her and puts his arms around her.
KAY: (Cont’d) Oh God Peter, that’s what it is, that’s what I haven’t been able to see… the rain, it’s the rain…
TRAP gestures to HUTCHINGS to leave the room, she frowns and TRAP re-emphasises his gesture and this time HUTCHINGS leaves the room.
TRAP: Look Kay, you have to listen, I can’t stay here.
KAY: Please Peter, I don’t want to be alone, not tonight…
TRAP: I’ve got to go, I wish I could stay but I need to see if I can help.
KAY: You were so good to me when my mother died.
TRAP: I loved your mother.
KAY: Be careful Peter, you’re a good man, but there is the dark in you…
TRAP: I’ll be careful, I’ll try to come back tonight.
KAY: You promise?
TRAP: I’ll try.
43. EXT. KAYS HOUSE – DAY
TRAP walks to the car, HUTCHINGS is waiting leaning back against it.
HUTCHINGS: You okay Guv?
HUTCHINGS: What’s happening Guv?
TRAP: I don’t know.
HUTCHINGS: Can she really see the future and that?
TRAP: As good as her mother could.
They start to get into the car. TRAP driving.
44. INT. TRAPS CAR – CONTINUOUS – DAY
HUTCHINGS: How do you know her mother.
TRAP: I’ll tell you another time.
HUTCHINGS: Where now?
TRAP: Tell me something Emma, what was Peterson doing at the hospital?
HUTCHINGS: You know why, he was seeing Doctor Trunz.
HUTCHINGS: Well… I don’t know really.
TRAP starts the engine and pulls away at a break neck speed.
45. EXT. SUBURBAN STREET – EARLY EVENING
An elderly couple walk up the street along with their six-year old collie dog. As they walk along JANET comes rushing out one of the houses, she still looks very harassed. As she rushes out she almost knocks into the elderly couple.
JANET: Oh I’m sorry.
MORRIS: Rushing to get back before it pours down?
JANET: That’s right.
MINNIE: (To REX, the dog) You just want to get in front of the fire don’t you boy.
JANET smiles politely and shoots off down the street, the elderly couple continue to walk up the street.
46. EXT. RETAIL PARK ELECTRICAL STORE – EARLY EVENING
ROBERT opens the front door of the store, the security shutters are already
half-way down. The Manager appears behind ROBERT. He has his coat on
and is about to leave for home.
MANAGER: Goodnight Robert.
After the MANAGER leaves ROBERT closes the shutters and disappears into
the darkness of the store.
47. EXT. THE POLICE STATION – ESTABLISH – EARLY EVENING
PETERSON (V.O): What can I do for you Trap.
48. INT PETERSONS OFFICE – CONTINUOUS – EARLY EVENING
TRAP is leaning on PETERSONS desk, Peterson is sitting forward in his seat. HUTCHINGS is standing by the door.
TRAP: Well you can stop bullshitting me for a start…Sir.
PETERSON: No ones bullshitting you Trap, least of all me.
TRAP: What were you doing at the hospital?
PETERSON: I’m interested to know how you think that is your business?
TRAP: It’s my business if its connected to that kid that’s lying in intensive care and the nut ward currently bustling with business and to my friend who has just committed suicide.
PETERSON: So how is all that connected?
TRAP: I don’t know, but I do know that you are keeping me in the dark here. Now …what aren’t you telling me, Sir?
PETERSON gets up and goes over to the door, next to HUTCHINGS.
PETERSON: Hutchings go and get a coffee or something will you.
HUTCHINGS looks over at TRAP for guidance, despite Peterson seniority
TRAP nods ‘okay’.
HUTCHINGS: Err…yes sir
HUTCHINGS leaves, PETERSON closes the door behind him. He then sits
back down behind his desk. He gestures to the chair next to TRAP but TRAP
just shakes his head ‘no’.
PETERSON: Do you know I have a brother TRAP?
PETERSON: Well I do. His name is Oswald, he’s a few years younger than me.
TRAP: Is he in the job Sir?
PETERSON: No Oswald chose quite a different path. He’s homeless, and has been for some years. We never got along as children…there was this big age difference, it never really got better as we became adults, truth be known.
TRAP: Well brothers Sir –
PETERSON: This isn’t easy for me TRAP, Me a Chief Inspector and my own flesh and blood out there, living on the streets, involved in God knows what.
TRAP: It doesn’t automatically follow –
PETERSON: I’m a very rational man TRAP, what you see is what you get as far as I’m concerned. I know you’ve investigated some more flavoursome cases in the past…
TRAP raises his eyebrows.
PETERSON: And I’ve always been sceptical with the results you’ve brought in. But you have brought in results.
TRAP: Is this the right time for my appraisal Sir?
PETERSON: The fact of the matter is my brother Oswald display certain abilities.
TRAP: What kind of abilities Sir?
PETERSON: I think they’re called… psychic…abilities.
49. INT. HUTCHINGS DESK – POLICE STATION – EARLY EVENING
HUTCHINGS is at her desk on the phone. The office is still very busy, despite it getting late. She sits hunched forward with her hand up to the mouthpiece of the phone, as if to hide her actions from her colleagues.
HUTCHINGS: No Dad, listen, stay in tonight, please, for me… I can’t explain what’s happening, but I really want you stay in tonight. Do you understand?… Look I said I couldn’t explain, you’ll just have to trust me on this okay? Just stay indoors.
50. INT. PETERSONS OFFICE – CONTINUOUS – EARLY EVENING
TRAP: Your brothers can see?
PETERSON: Of course he can see. Look I don’t know how much in this you believe, but the fact remains that he has a high degree of precognitive insights. I tried to explain them away when we were growing up as illusionary, but over the past few years he’s told me things that have invariably happened with an alarming accuracy. I can’t just write this off anymore.
TRAP: And now Sir?
PETERSON: He’s ill Trap, his gift, if you can possibly call it that is causing some sort of psychological damage. His knowledge of the future… he can’t cope with what he can see. He’s under the care of Doctor Trunz, just one of many patients with similar disturbances I’m lead to believe. I went to see him this morning. He’s been with Trunz for a week now. He came to my home in the middle of the night begging for help and ranting about … he was crazy with this vision he had of tonight. I had him admitted to Trunz, I didn’t know what else to do.
TRAP: What about tonight?
PETERSON: He told me that it would rain tonight. He told me that anyone caught in the rain would, that they would… it would make them go insane.
TRAP: (To himself) Insanity from the Heavens.
PETERSON: I know the story itself sounds insane… and if it were anyone else telling me I wouldn’t give it any credence, but Oswald… as soon as he told me I knew it to be true.
TRAP looks up and behind PETERSON, at the large window behind his chair.
PETERSON: (Cont’d) Tonight this town will go insane and we can’t do anything about it.
PETERSON looks down and then slowly looks up at TRAP. TRAP is like a
statue looking beyond PETERSON. PETERSON looks confused, he gets up
and looks directly at TRAP.
PETERSON: (Cont’d) Trap? Trap? … What is it?
TRAP: Rain Sir.
PETERSON: Yes, that’s what he said, rain.
TRAP: It’s raining.
51. EXT. POLICE STATION – CONTINUOUS – EARLY EVENING
ANGLE: Looking in at PETERSONS office. TRAP and PETERSON stand side
by side and watch the first few drops of rain on the window, it steadily gets
heavier until it starts to pour down. And then it thunders.
52. INT. HUTCHINGS DESK – POLICE STATION – EARLY EVENING
HUTCHINGS looks up and sees that it is raining, she gets up and goes
over to the window. She puts her face up close to the glass and looks out.
53. INT. KAYS HOUSE – LOUNGE – EVENING
The light from a street lamp casts a shadow of the rain into KAYS
lounge. KAY sits in the shadow rain slowly rocking, nervously.
54. INT. SECURITY ROOM OF THE ELECTRICAL STORE – EVENING
Robert sits in his chair reading a copy of the Guardian newspaper. In front of him are three monitors, each linked to a number of security cameras. They flick through each camera in rotation. On the second rotation we can see that there is now a large group of people in the car park. Robert continues to read his paper.
55. INT. The Kitchen OF THE BROWNS – NiGHT
JANET sits at the kitchen table, she is flicking through a copy of Hello
magazine whilst smoking a fag. The kitchen itself is immaculate.
JOHN (V.O): (Shouts) Jan!
JANET: (Wearily) What John?
JOHN (V.O): Get me a can?
JAN gets up and goes over to the fridge, this she opens. It is at this moment
that Jan realises that the one thing she forget to get whilst out shopping was
JOHNS beers. She looks panic stricken.
JOHN (V.O.) (Getting impatient) Jan where the bloody hells that can?
56. INT. THE LOUNGE OF THE BROWNS – CONTINUOUS –NIGHT
ANGLE: From the kitchen door looking into the lounge. We can see the back of JOHNS chair and the TV in front of it.
JOHN (V.O): JAN!
JANET: (NERVOUS) I… forgot to buy your beer.
JOHN turns in his chair looks at JANET then gets to his feet.
JOHN: What did you say?
JANET: I forgot your beers, sorry luv, I was really busy, I had a lot on my mind.
JOHN: Then you’d better go and get them now.
JANET: But it’s pouring down out there, I’ll get soaked.
JOHN walks over to JANET and gentle strokes her hair, when his hand is
behind her head he pulls at hair and cranes her neck back.
JANET: (SCARED) John please don’t…
JOHN: You stupid bitch.
JOHN punches her just once pull in the mouth. JANET falls to the ground.
She clutches at her injured face crying.
JOHN: You useless fat cow.
JOHN takes hold of her by the hair and pulls her up, she cries in pain as he
does, her lip now bleeding down her face.
JANET: (Crying) John… please…
JOHN: You know I always have a beer in the evening, (he looks back at the TV) and now the bleedin’ films started.
JANET: (Pleading) I’ll go and get them, just don’t hurt me please.
JOHN: Yes you will go and get them.
JOHN pulls JANET along to the front door in the lounge.
JANET: Let me get my coat John… please.
JOHN opens the door and pushes her out into the street.
57. EXT. SEMI-DETACHED OF THE BROWNS – NIGHT
JOHN stands in the door and JANET stands in the street, getting wet.
JOHN: And don’t gab.
JANET: My coat…?
JOHN motions to hit her again and she recoils further into the street. He looks
at her one final time then slams the door shut. JANET leans back against a
lamp post and crying desperately.
58. EXT. THE HIGH STREET – OUTSIDE A BETTING SHOP – EVENING
EDWARD and GABRIEL still sit together outside the betting shop. They are protected from the rain by the shop canopy. MONARCH is standing in the raining, he is smiling wildly, he walks out into the street and a car screeches to a halt narrowly avoiding him. He opens out his arms and looks up at the sky. He looks over at his two colleagues. They get up and also walk out into the rain. Meanwhile the driver of the car that almost hit MONARCH is shouting something we just can’t hear from inside his car. MONARCH looks at the driver and smiles. Then crash, Gabriel has got a rubbish bin and has put it through the drivers window screen. The driver incensed gets out the car, as he does he puts the hood of his parka up so as not to get wet.
DRIVER: (To MONARCH – shouts) What the hell do you think you people are doing?
He stops at that and looks around, slowly realising that there are at least ten
of MONARCHS followers standing around him, all looking as maniacal as
MONARCH, who himself is now walking away down the middle of the street.
59. EXT. SEMI-DETACHED OF THE BROWNS – NIGHT
CLOSE ON: JANETS Face. As it rains the blood from her lip is washed away.
She licks her lip and starts to smile. She looks up at the street lamp and
watches how drops of rain splash onto the street light canopy and down the
neck of the lamppost.
60. INT. SECURITY ROOM OF THE ELECTRICAL STORE – EVENING
ROBERT still sits and reads his paper. The monitors now show that the build
up of people in the car park has moved to the front of the store. A camera
from within the store, trained on the entrance shows that they are at the main
door. After a moment the crowd part and without noise a car hurtles through
the entrance. This naturally sets of an internal alarm. ROBERT practically falls
out of his chair. He gets up and views the monitor. The crowd of people has
disappeared and all ROBERT can see is the a gapping whole in the entrance
left by the car. There is no one to be seen on any of the monitors.
ROBERT: Oh Christ.
He grabs his torch and phone and leaves the security room.
61. EXT. AN ARIAL VIEW OF THE CITY – NIGHT
The rain continues.
62. EXT. A STREET – NIGHT
ANGLE: Foot level as we track a man running down a rain drenched street. We pan up to reveal it is TRAP and he is running like a madman – drenched in rain, a determined look on his face. Several cars pass him, passenger faces pressed to the windows desperately trying to see who this lunatic is. TRAP ignores all of them. He is no longer a policeman, Peter TRAP no longer remembers who he really is, all he knows is that the darkness has emerged. Peter is the wolf, and if you’re not a wolf you’re a sheep, and sheep are meat for wolves.
END OF PART ONE