DARK - a novella

DARK - a novella


Chapter 1

Through the window a bird and a plane in the sky. in the reflection on the glass is a man’s face, handsome and haggard. His face is my face. Dark eyes shine back, and sink down. i look at my hands. I am cooking. What am i cooking? Beef wellington for one. Here it is, the knife glinting in my hand, the meat seeping red onto the chopping board. I feel the knife’s sharpness on a pink fingertip. The light in the room burns yellow and flickers. I slice off a strip and look at the non-stick pan smoking on the hob. I slice off another strip slowly and the fibres come apart. I dip my finger in the meat juices and put it to my lips. Was that the doorbell? Nobody there. The radio chatters inanely from across the room. I was listening to the match but i just left it on for company. Some company. I lick my teeth thoughtfully. The blood on my tongue excites me. Why does blood excite me? Steak tartar is considered classy, sushi chic. I want the meat between my teeth. I want to rip it apart. I close the blinds...




My first poetry collection is now available on kindle.  Click the button to find out more...


my short story imagining the effects of Aldous Huxley's deathbed experience is available to read on the Askance compilation Positional Vertigo


d. 11/22/1963


An aging body lies in a wrinkled bed. A slow blink and the ghost of a sigh. A tree sways outside the window, parts with a leaf. A scrawled note in a shaky hand. Are you sure, Aldous? Another slow blink. The sheet is pulled back revealing a wrinkled arm, the arm that wrote the books that would outlive him. The arm that fed him throughout his life could now barely move.

The plan had been in his mind for a while. A high dose of lysergic acid was to be administered on his deathbed to secure his transition into a higher state of consciousness and aid his passage into the next life. The experiences he had on mescaline had already shown Aldous transcendent beauty in this life and he was eager to open that door one last time, to breathe in the ineffable truth of the Logos as he breathed out his last lungful of oxygen. To meet finally the sea of mind that the separation from which had pained and taunted him. At last an end to the decay and hurt of the physical body. At last an end to this dimness, the limits of the corporeal. At last, the freedom of oneness.

Laura firmly holds the needle and it slips into her father’s arm muscle. The narcotic liquid flows in, a small air bubble with it. No matter. He is definitely dying. Any longer and it might be too late. The doctor fusses across the room, but no matter. This is the right thing. This is what he wanted. He knows what he is doing. It will help him. Crossed fingers, gritted teeth. The drug can take several hours to kick in fully and Aldous had asked that he would be in the peak of his trip as his brain shuts down. He had stressed that this was important, and that he must not be disturbed when making his final journey.

It is time. Words rise softly in his mind, “O nobly born, let not my mind be distracted.” He isn’t sure if that was quite right. Laura’s voice again. Can you hear me? He squeezes her hand, warm but unfamiliar. He cannot even remember where the line was from. A furrowing of the brow. Are you feeling any effects? A gentle shake of the head. Other questions had been asked. He nods without comprehending them. The face of his daughter seems alien, her worrying irritates him. The incessant concern. Can a chap not die in peace? ...

A Town Like This Needs a Holiday

New novel A TOWN LIKE THIS NEEDS A HOLIDAY out now on Kindle