Sunday, 24 October 2010

Untitled V

The air outside was cold and unforgiving. It was mid November and the frost was starting to settle on the tall Victorian houses along Galleon Lane. Children were running along the slippery streets, seedy looking men were walking to and from the corner shop, some with bottles hidden in brown paper bags and others with rude magazines tucked under their armpits. Billy was staring out of the small window of his bedroom. He was slumped in his wheelchair and fiddling with the lucky penny his grandfather had given to him before he had passed away. Billy had been home for almost a week and hadn't left the comfort of his tiny room; his tee shirt was grubby, his trousers creased and his hands dirty from the wheels of his chair.

Billy had been having strange, twisted dreams since he had arrived back on Galleon Lane. He was drowning in the darkest depths of the Pacific Ocean. Prehistoric snapping fish were tearing the flesh from his bones and huge sea dragons were chasing him across the watery globe. He was desperately swimming, in all directions, searching for a safe haven. He was scanning the horizons, screaming for help, splashing helplessly as the beasts attacked him, wave after wave; snap, snap, snap. Then suddenly, in the distance, he saw a small island, about the same size as his bathroom. It was empty, glowing in the hot sun and beckoning Billy towards its dry shore. Billy was swimming furiously, getting closer and closer to his sanctuary. He stumbled onto the sand to find a large tin bath resting underneath a drooping palm tree. It shone, it glimmered invitingly and it called for Billy; so he crawled towards it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Untitled IV

Captain Billy Byron looked out across the cool, clear water. The sun was falling through the clouds as another day was near its end. He smiled; it had been another adventurous but satisfying day. Gilbert, Billy's trusted parrot, hopped along the wheel of the towering ship, jumped onto Billy's shoulder and slowly nodded off into a deep sleep. Billy stood up, his cloak rippled in the light wind, the gold around his neck clanked and clinked as he picked up his silvery sword, and his wooden leg thumped, thumped across the slippery deck. It was time for him to retreat to his sleeping quarters; Billy knew he had a big day ahead to prepare for. After all, every pirate needs his beauty sleep.

It had been eight months since the accident and Billy was a shadow of his former self. He spent his days cooped up in the small bedroom of his mum's terraced house. He hadn't been to school or spoke to his friends for just under a year. It was 9.04am, Billy's alarm was humming to the sound of the local radio station, and he was ignoring it. He was hiding underneath his duvet and cursing to himself, he hated the morning. He hated waking up and remembering what had happened to him.

He could hear his mum downstairs preparing breakfast and moving from room to room, picking up magazines and polishing dirty surfaces. She had tried to tempt Billy from his room with freshly baked double chocolate chip cookies, extra creamy porridge with sticky honey and homemade cheeseburgers with the curliest of curly fries, but nothing had worked. He wanted to be alone.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Untitled III

Week eight bought with it a flicker of hope. He heard whispers in the corridors, he heard his name echo through the halls and there was a rumour that Billy would be going home.

He had been through painful physiotherapy, he had been introduced to his wheelchair; or his throne, as he liked to call it. Billy would pretend to be a wise old king; looking down on his subjects as they begged and fought for his attention. However, the nightmares were still constant and terrifying. The ghosts and ghouls were haunting him, their beady red eyes piercing his troubled soul. The janitor in the hospital was taunting him, whispering that he would kill him when he was asleep. The tall surgeon, who had chopped off the remainder of Billy's leg, mocked him whenever Billy's back was turned. He would tell his doctor friends that Billy's leg was on the mantle piece at his country retreat; pickled in a large glass jar for generation after generation to stare at.

Billy hadn't showered for nearly two months, his hair was getting long and matted and he refused to wash. His mother would beg Billy to brush his teeth, wipe his chin or even change his underwear, but Billy refused. He was ashamed of what he had become and felt no need to pamper himself with the cleansing and drying of a body that he despised. The anger inside him was bubbling, and the ghouls and ghosts that had once haunted him began to talk to Billy softly and respectfully. And he began to listen to them. He agreed with their whisperings; everyone was mocking him, everyone was looking at him and everyone was laughing.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Untitled II

Billy opened his eyes, he was in a place that he had never seen before. Large white washed walls, the beep beep beeping of futuristic looking machines, and the humming fan whirling overhead. He was hooked up to various metal boxes, displaying flickering numbers, the ups and downs of wavy lines and the pump pumping of fluids and gases. His head was heavy and empty, and the room was moving from side to side. He was dizzy.

He felt like a character in a black and white movie, strange women and grand looking men were walking past the large window to his left. He could not hear them but made up the conversations they may be having in his head. How Billy was doomed, how his body was a mess and how he would be thrown out to sea for the sharks to feed on his useless remains.

As the weeks went by, the strangers became friends, they comforted Billy and dressed his wounds, but Billy was still locked in his own little world, only answering with grunts and hand gestures. He would close his eyes and wish the clock could be turned back, he asked God for help and would try to deny the situation he was in.

They had tried to save Billy's leg, the large men with masks covering their faces. They had taken bucket after bucket of blood, they had stuck needles in his groin, his hands and his one functioning foot. They had removed skin from his thighs, muscles from his back but nothing had worked. It was as though his body was rejecting any chance of a recovery, as if it was Billy's destiny to have one leg. So there it was, his future laid out before him, the path chosen, Billy was to be a cripple from the age of thirteen. A wheelchair bound freak. He thought he would join a circus where customers would throw pennies for him to dance.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


At 8.21am on the 25th of September, Billy had been riding to school on his new BMX. He rode to school everyday and felt good about it. His teachers were always promoting healthy living and good eating, so riding to school was his exercise of the day.

As Billy turned at the junction where his favourite park and takeaway restaurant, 'Popeye's Chicken,' met, he noticed a lorry switching lanes beside him. The lorry was a beast of a vehicle, angrily changing gears as it got nearer and nearer to Billy. The huge front grill was nipping at Billy's leg, its lights flashing and squinting as it steamed down on the poor boy. He was cornered, Billy's eyes were full of fear, he knew that the lorry had won.

The sky turned black as the pain struck through his body, creatures from his darkest nightmares burrowed into his brain. The gremlins, wardrobe monsters, witches, three headed crazy eyed dogs and slobbering giant slugs. It was intense, wave after wave of hurt, like a punch to the stomach, over and over again. Punch, punch, punch, punch.

The table was cold and uncomfortable, strange people surrounded Billy as he was falling in and out of consciousness. The pain was unbearable, Billy's thigh was throbbing, but he felt nothing below the knee. A large needle kept pounding into his arm, and the tall strangers around him became blurry and alien like. Their voices were muffled and low. Billy was scared; his arms were shaking and his eyes were flickering with fear. Flashbacks of the crazed lorry jolted through his bones, its large teeth-like grill and the steamed windscreen, as if it was overwhelmed with anger. Then he remembered. A tear fell down Billy's cheek. He remembered being scraped from the pavement, like the leftovers from a Sunday roast. And he remembered his dismembered leg being left behind, perfect picking for the vultures that were circling inside his shattered mind.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Everyone's mad in Mad-chester.

Fuck Inter Milan versus Tottenham in the San Siro in a couple of weeks, the big game was happening at Boundary Park last weekend. Leyton Orient versus Oldham Athletic in the N Power Football League One. A truly great occasion. So me, Ads and the two women in tow, jumped into my N reg Ford Fiesta Ghia, sped up the M6 with a box of twelve doughnuts and checked into the beautiful Lansdowne Hotel in the heart of Fallowfield. A hotel with as much charm as a pissed up northerner in a Wetherspoon pub. But for twenty quid a night each, who could complain?

Whilst me and Ads were witnessing a great 1-1 draw at the beautiful ground of Oldham, the girls were meeting Mrs Daley's kid for the first time; a boy by the name of Teddy Cameron. As you can see by the pictures he went down a storm. Meanwhile, at Boundary Park, the one hundred Leyton Orient fans who had made the 200 mile trip up north, were getting offered out by about two hundred scally boys dressed head to toe in Lacoste. I love English football.

Teddy was probably making the girls quite broody by this point; especially after three bottles of wine and sixty cigarettes. However, with me being unemployed and with a dodgy leg and with Ads living upstairs in his in-laws loft, I don't think the pitter patter of tiny feet will be heard in Hollywood Way anytime soon.

We met the girls in the Wetherspoons in Didsbury Village, they were all half cut; Jennifer in particular. She was very smiley and very loud, two sure signs of a messy afternoon. After getting chatted up at the bar by a rough looking bird named Kate (who showed us the tattoo of her ex-boyfriend's name on her tit) Me and Ads settled into an evening of drinking Fosters and Jager. I can't touch the Stella (us southern fairies have far too delicate stomachs for that muck)

The lovely blond lady on the right is Mandy, an old Uni friend of Jennifer's. She was drinking copious amounts of Vodka and Diet Coke, before talking about cocks and her old job working in a sex shop. She is a lovely girl who looks much younger than her years, and who apparently can make one hell of a cake. Oh, and she's a Scouse, but don't hold that against her!

We decided to crawl along a few of the pubs and bars of East Didsbury sinking JagerBombs and generally making pests of ourselves. The Nelson Inn was my favourite. Jennifer boogied on the non existent dance floor, I got my pigeon chest out, Ads put on some Johnny Cash, Kate sank about three ciders and Mandy talked about cocks. The night was getting off to a flying start.

So our weekend in Manchester was bringing back many memories of our Uni days. Particularly the amazing act that Mandy had mastered of making her tits grow in front of our very eyes. It also went down a treat with the drunk Burnage boys drinking at the bar. We decided to line our stomachs with a proper meal so ate some free monkey nuts in the Dog and Partridge, then stumbled on into the night.

Outside the Sanctuary, I was getting pretty pissed off with Jennifer because she wasn't paying me enough attention so licked her face a few times. I think she liked it. Mandy composed a song called 'Is that my wine?' The rest of us made up a few verses, which attracted the attention of a former Drum 'n' Bass MC sipping vodka on the table next to us. He proceeded to rap at us for the next half an hour. And I'm not being sarcastic here, but he was amazing. I don't know his name but I will be looking out for him. Or maybe I was just pissed. We'll never know.

The above picture is the album sleeve for Mandy's debut record 'Is that my wine?' featuring Thomas the Wank Engine and the Ginger Nut. Early readings have it hitting the Top 100 alongside that gay 'Joe' from the X Factor and the Blazin' Squad. It really is a beautiful anthem.

Jennifer didn't really enjoy the song. She's more of an East 17 type of gal.

Seven JagerBombs, a few bottles of wine, a lot of beer and a couple of bottles of vodka later, we were all ready to go to Happy Days to eat fried food. It was at this point when the lovely Mandy proposed to me in style; over chips in pitta bread. As you can see from the photo below I was overwhelmed by the sparkly ring. I of course said yes, told Jennifer to fuck off and mentally prepared myself for moving up north to live in the pissing rain. Then I had a change of heart......... until.............

Mandy tongued me. The deal was done. I was going to be Mr Foley-Smith.

As Adam was finishing off his second pizza, a young northern lad peered through the door looking somewhat confused. We proceeded to sing Leyton Orient songs at him, tell him that London was better than Manchester, and finally order him to stop getting so angry. We were being overly charming. The guy was a bit indifferent to us.

If you are reading this out there Mr Manchester, I hope you are well and that you find out your purpose in life. You really were a confused individual.

So the guy stumbled outwards muttering naughty words under his breath and left us to dance the night away in a takeaway shop run by people who clearly hated us. Ads finished off his third pizza and we all voted on one for the road in our hotel bar. The bar was staffed by the receptionist who kept running between the two with obvious disdain in his heart. We sank Smirnoff Ice, VK Blue and beer, only taking a breath to chat to some overly friendly Scottish guys who wanted to friend Kate on Facebook as if their life depended on it.

Then something creepy happened. It was as if someone up there had sent us a sign. The ironing board (as you can see in the photo above) turned angry. He was looking at us saying 'GET OUT OF MY BAR.' So we did. Kate gave out her email address to the weird looking Scottish bird and we staggered upstairs, trying to pick locks along the way, all the way to bed.

The night ended with an X Factor Omnibus and some video recording of things I can't quite remember. I think I may have thrown Adam's pants out the window, after that it went blurry. I hope he was gentle with me.

The trip back to London was eventful. During breakfast, in which I had deep fried battered prawns, my head felt like it was starting to explode. I was itchy and scared. I went outside for some fresh air to discover something was trying to escape from my head. I was coming up in hives all over the shop. I freaked out, we went to a pharmacy, they told me to go to a doctors, I didn't. We decided to drive back to London and risk it. Ten minutes later, the hives had gone. It was a miracle!........ Then Kate threw up all over the M6. Quite a lot. The next three hours were a blur. But the good news is, that we got home, watched X Factor and then went to bed.
Spare change guv'ner?