Monday, 21 June 2010



She alights, and canters down the platform to the ticket barriers. The gilded clouds move at double speed, and the night sky smothers all like a delicate silk veil. 

She looks over her shoulder, and there he is, pacing behind her. Like an apparition, maybe. Just a thought. But when she looks again, he has not followed her down the steps. 

Rows of terraced houses lie about like the charred wreckage of spent coke; the broken lights of the 24 hour store flicker; soft music wafts by intermittently with the wind. There he is pacing behind. 

She rounds the corner, and he's gone. Her heels clack on concrete, and as she approaches the railway bridge she thinks she can see headlights fade and die. 

She passes the car, searching through the windows, but it's dark inside and she can't make out a face. There is only the soft ticking of an engine recently gunned and killed. 

Closer, but first the towering branches and howling treetops of the heath. Her heels click faster - hair in her face and dancing dry leaves. 

All too quickly he is upon her. She is forced into the bracken by a rough hand, now on her handbag, now on her neck. Her little blue beret lands in the grass, and a large, gold, heart-shaped earring comes undone but doesn't fall out. All the while he taunts her, what he will do to her, his previous conquests, the lousy police, muttering glibly and disgustingly in a way that only a man could. 

But she is ready - she stoops for a heel and brings it back up serenely into his rosy temple. He falls, and she straightens up, putting on her shoe before kicking him in the head, twice, three times. 

She slips her dainty fingers into her little lace gloves, and touches two fingers to her forehead, each shoulder, her crotch. Your last time. She shoots him in his.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Aéro Dynamik

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Sonata of the Sea. Finale, 1908

It was their second anniversary. Not of their wedding, mind, but of the night at the café near the beach in Brighton where Antoine had asked Bilinda if she would go out with him (in his silky Parisian timbre, nuanced with the regrettably false yet stereotypical presuppositions of a talented and sensuous lover). 

Later that night Antoine had sat at the foot of the bed while Bilinda slept, rubbing his eyes until they were sore as he swallowed the lugubrious epiphany that this was the apotheosis of his life. 
What a twat. He had just indulged in what - in his eccentrically transmuted words - was 'the pinnacle of heterosexual coitus', and yet all he could do was lament the thought that it might never be that good again. Yes, it was pretty good, but, twat. 

As an anniversary celebration, much to the initial disapproval of Bilinda, Antoine had arranged that they go skydiving, ensemble. Eventually she had come round to the idea, and so on the 22nd of August 2010 they found themselves sitting abreast several thousand feet in the air, simultaneously on the brink of shitting themselves. Unconventionally romantic.

The time came for them to jump. "So I look ready?" asked Antoine, smiling nervously at his dearest. 

"You could do up the flies of your jumpsuit."

"You might have reminded me of this earlier," tutted Antoine, his not-quite-perfect command of English leading him to infer that 'this' was some recurring malevolent problem. 

The petite silver aeroplane carved its solitary course across a cloudless sky, and the couple jumped hand in hand before splitting apart at twelve-thousand feet. 

At ten-thousand feet they floated closer together, still tied to their instructors, and at eight-thousand feet they kissed for a further few hundred. 

At however many-thousand feet Bilinda's parachute burst open above the emerald fields and chalky white oast houses of Kent, and she stared, exopthalmic, at the spiralling form of Antoine. At four-thousand feet, Antoine had become a black speck to her eyes, and at one-thousand he was more of a red blotch on the otherwise spotless rural expanse. 

As soon as she and her instructor landed she tore herself from her strapping and hurried, in tears, to where his broken body lay. Predictably, his parachute had never opened, and so she unravelled it from its crumpled package on his behalf to find the words 'WILL YOU MARRIAGE ME?' crudely spray-painted on the day-glo nylon. And thus, she took his limp hand in holy matrimony.