Shane is looking in a box. The box is full of light. There is a scene through the light where a rabbit carrion is picked apart by a magpie.
“Thank you,” he says, “I knew it would all work out.”
Shane smiles and closes the lid. The lid slams shut with a heavy bang, but the loud noise seems to come from behind him. Shane turns, shocked by the crash and sees an empty room, different from the room he was in a moment ago.
In the top right corner where the walls meet the ceiling, a shadow is slowly growing, spreading out. The darkness fills him. Horrified, Shane runs from the room.
In the next room, Jane calms him. Soothing touches, kisses and whispers, “It’s ok my love, you’re here now, with me,” she says, stroking his cheek. Shane laughs and pushes her away. She looks sad, then frightened as he grabs her wrist and spins her around, landing a heavy slap on her arse. Jane squeals and he pushes her forward. She loses balance and falls sprawling onto a sofa. He is quickly on her, pulling at her clothes, as she struggles uselessly against him, indignant and outraged. Laughing, he puts a hand up her skirt and pinches. His laughing is maniacal, as he overwhelms the girl, stripping her of her clothes. He pops a button at the back of her skirt and tears it down. Then her top is ripped, as he pulls it up and off. She is down to her underwear and escapes, running for the door. Shane catches her at the threshold and pulls at her pants, the flimsy material gives way.
Once she is bare, still laughing, he slaps her bottom again and bars her arms behind her back. He drags her to stand before a full-length mirror and Jane wriggles as he holds her arms and sways her side to side, making her little tits swing. She is laughing too and they watch their reflection.
In the mirror, Shane sees behind them on the sofa, himself and the Jane, but younger. A noise like a coin on a guitar string makes the hair on his neck stand up. The younger him is holding her down by the throat with one hand, while the other is between her legs. She moans looking up at him, all love and lust and he claps his open palm on her face hard. She is crying, with blood on her lip and he licks it across her face. They are kissing now and the other Shane looks back at himself in the mirror.
The girl he was holding is gone. He spins round, but instead of the sofa with a younger him and a younger Jane, is a room filled with tables and chairs, like a café facing a stage at the front. People appear like ghosts, unsolid. They are sitting with drinks and they clap as a man walks onto the stage. Shane takes a seat and the man on the stage is talking. He seems to be telling a story and, as Shane looks on, the man’s face changes. It grows long and dark and becomes a terrible mask, like a demon. Black face, white light from the eyes. The face changes again, back to its original form, but blurred features. There are circles of light slowly coming out from the man’s right eye. Shane listens to what the man is saying.
… I never want anything, life is not that hard. I don’t make big decisions. I blow on the wind, I don’t care too much.
I just blow in the wind and fall through life and death, like a strange dream.
Wind blow me away, into the darkness, into the dream night. Forever.
Nothing really matters. We are all going to die and turn to dust. I am happy.
Of course, I realise none of this is real and I never really got better and this is all some strange delusion or fuck-dream of silly blue bliss.
I’ll fuck it up now with my voice stuck and another voice coming out my ears with blood and bunny guts and free face fuck foetus finish flop and hop. Flip a catch on the chin and the face comes up on a hinge at the forehead and inside is a whole lot of other stories with music and pictures blue.
Standing there about a foot off the floor, going backwards slowly waving goodbye, tears streaming down my cheeks with the world against me. I yawned and spiders ran out with dreams they stole and won’t give back ’til I finally admit that I weren’t hatched from a Faberge egg, of course.
I’ll leave my eyes in a sky, I’ll throw my mind on the fire and I’ll spike my heart on a stick and chuck it in a pond.
There is a moment in abject despair, when you realise the absurdity of it all and start laughing at your own hollow and know you will keep going.
Shane realises he has been crying and wipes a tear from his cheek. He sees himself in a blue world where everything is coloured a different blue. He feels content. He gets up to leave and tucks his chair in, but when he looks up the room has gone.
He is standing naked in a ruined city, concrete dereliction in a dusty nowhere. The rain starts to fall. The clouds are heavy. Shane drops to his knees and keels over sideways, falling awkwardly. He watches himself lie there like that, laughing at nothing. Laughing at the rain. Jane is standing over him smirking. She looks cruel and mocking. He whispers his love for her and she fades to nothing. The sun is dim through clouds and the rain stops. Magpie calls rattle out and Shane sees a dying rabbit, white fur bloody on the cracked floor. The magpies gather on a wall. Shane looks up at them through fading eyes. He feels the rapid bunny beat of his heart slowing to nothing. A magpie lands next to him and pecks at his blood fur mess.
Rob True was born in London 1971. He left school with no qualifications, got lost in an abyss and spent a decade on another planet. He returned to earth just in time for the new millennium and married a beautiful, strange girl. She taught him how to use paragraphs and punctuation and his writing has been a bit better ever since. Stories published in Burning House Press, Sick Lit Magazine, Open Pen Magazine and The Arsonist Magazine. @robjtrue