When Verity arrived she was dressed in black. She looked at me and said, “What the hell have you done?” I gave a nervous glance left and right, pinched my scarlet dressing gown in at the neck and said “Come on in.”

Maybe everything has become so surreal that to me it looks normal. Maybe I don't recognize things anymore. Maybe I don't notice that the only bulb that burns is that of the bedroom, that an empty wheelchair parked up in the dark hallway looks quite odd, that the warmth that another human presence gives off is void from this apartment. But Verity noticed, immediately. A hundred little things which gave the game away, told her that the apartment was empty, that John was not here.

As she passed the bedroom she stopped and stuck her head in. Knowing that another person was looking in at my life suddenly made me self-conscious. For a moment some kind of objectivity returned to my eyes. I saw my laptop in the bed alongside a mountain of blankets; bowls off mouldy cereal, half eaten sandwiches and crusts of bread littering the side table and floor; Jaw's bowl on the chest of drawers, the water murky and unchanged; bottles filled with urine poking out from under the bedstand; pieces of cheap pink toilet paper screwed up and decorating the floor like cherry blossom; tranquilizer packets frantically torn open; a glass of stale water; an uprooted dead Flamingo plant; Johns side of the bed unruffled and empty. It was the room of a man who had barricaded himself in, who'd become a recluse. I pulled a hand down over my facial stubble, felt my oily skin an greasy hair. Then I looked down at my shabby dressing gown, my paisley pyjama bottoms baggy at the knees with dirt, my bare feet and black-lined toenails. I hadn't washed or hardly left the bed since the accident had happened. For a moment I saw it all.

Verity stood there shocked. She didn't even hug me. She just peered in as if looking for signs of life. When she spoke she was not her usual sweet self. There was no “Darl,” or “Hun,” just a strangely inquisitive set of question, delivered as if she already knew the answers.
“Tristy, where is John? What's happened? Why is the wheelchair sitting empty in the dark? And the place... what the fuck has happened?”

I collapsed down on one of the kitchen chairs, almost missing it. Suddenly I felt drained, exhausted, one hundred years old. I was getting angry. Tears were building in my eyes. But not good tears, angry tears – insane tears of someone who has lost their world.
“It's that fucking Brian!!!!” I screamed banging the table, “He's responsible, and he doesn't even know it. He walks by, slows his fucking pace as he passes, looks in... peers in... those longing, pathetic fucking eyes and the rattle, rattle, rattle of his fucking post trolley. It never stops, and he wouldn't and will not let up! He corrupted John, me... everything! Disturbed our world.... fucked it all up! Bounced around like a pinball, ricocheting off the walls and ceilings and between us. Totting up a new high score.... fucking up a life, two lives! It was his doing, that fucking cockshoving sucking little shit!” When I finished my face was scrunched up in pain and distress.. My fists were held out clenched. I let them drop limp and broke down with them.

Now Verity sat down. She put a hand to her forehead and an eye to me. She looked scared. Already she was regretting ever coming here tonight.


  1. Tristy I feel I have been guilty of neglecting you in your hour of need, I have recently seen a medium who asked me did I know a man with old fashioned frames, called John ??
    She told me he was feeling pretty cut up and his life in pieces which he regrets .... It looks like it is you in pieces .. I need to read all the posts that I have missed xx

  2. There has been a second 'sighting'.

    I have a medium on staff. Doris. She tells me that Barbara Cartland is pissed off with you.

    I told her that Babs would never use such language. She was Princess Diana's aunt or something!

    'Well ma'm, she said it all hoity toity like, but that's wot she meant'.

    Doris said there was another presence close by, approaching Babs.

    ' 'e was wearing these big Fick glasses like the swots did at school'.

    I do hope those two don't start swapping Tristy grievances in the afterlife.

    I fear a John and Babs haunting would be a shattering ordeal...

  3. Tristram,
    If you have anything to fear, it is still the flamingo plant. It may be dead, but yesterday I read that a euthanized dog cane back to life.

  4. @ Wildernesschic: I'll save you the trouble. basically I've started peeing in bottles again and eating tinned fish under the blankets. I am racked by guilt. LOL X

    @ Abigail: Now that would be terrifying BC & JAB'M in cahoots. I've always had problems visualizing hell, but that woud be it. And when you and I eventually join the party, Ifear the forces of Goodness are fucked! X

    @ Lee Deville: The Flamingo plant, my very own Triffid... jesus, I'm starting to regret my 'accident' now. X


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