Monday 14 September 2015

Dark Fiction - Grind


By Casey Douglass

It was the kind of morning that made his bones shake. The misty rain hung in the air reflecting the state of his mind: gloomy, with a chance of depression. It was still and quiet outside, until a lone bird began to sing its morning ditty, ruining his description of quietude. A bubble of frustration burst in his chest.
It was the kind of morning in which a better writer would sit and create worlds, mythologies and intricate plots, the kind that twist and tear their way through the reader's expectations. All he could do was sit and ruminate on the weather, which he noted was very British.
“Rain again!” the man yelled from across the street as he rushed along in his large stuffy coat.
“You know it friend!” another bellowed from the dry space provided by the bus stop.
But of course, it wouldn't go like that would it. This is Britain, a place that lost its lustre years ago, about the same time it lost its status of being the bully of the world. Now it was full of pale little people that walked around grumbling about everything.
That might be a bit harsh, it probably was, but he was master of this tale and so it stayed. Better to be harsh or wrong in what you write than not write anything at all.
“Fucking weather!”
“Shut it you moaning cunt!”
That's how it would go, no time for false pleasantries when you're late for the job you hate. You might have to stay late and miss the latest instalment of whichever asinine reality TV series you are watching.
He wondered if you could purge and bottle bile. Not the literal kind, he was sure that was possible. More the emotional kind. He certainly seemed to have plenty to spare this morning. He listened. The bird outside was gone now, or at the least, holding its tongue. Maybe it had realised that the tune it was singing might be worth something so was busy searching the web for a recording studio and a copyright lawyer.
The bus hissed to a shuddering halt at the stop, the doors flinging open and releasing the smell of wet clothes and vinegary chips. The shuffling hoard left the chewing gum graveyard that was the pavement and climbed on. They attempted to observe the usual bus passenger etiquette of sitting in the most inappropriate places, the tallest sandwiched into seats with no leg room, the most frail made to stand unsteadily in the aisle.
The doors snapped shut. The floor lurched forward as the bus gained speed forcing a few of the standees to white knuckle the hand rails. The sound of the engine filled the confined space, everything else was otherwise silent, save for the odd sniff or cough. Gloomy monks meditating on the day ahead but God seemed to be elsewhere, maybe on his or her own commute.
A sound of twisted auto-tuned birdsong flooded the bus, heads twisting and turning to try and zero in on the cause. A sheepish looking teenager lifted a smartphone from his pocket and set it to silent, mutters of “That fucking song gets on my tits!” and “Jesus Christ turn that off!” accompanying his movements.
The bus carried on. The passengers stared blankly. Britain embraced them as they and the bus vanished amongst the sprawl of pound shops and mega-banks, the garish billboards lining the road promising them untold delights if they just bought this particular phone or voted for this particular MP. It was all bollocks and they knew it, but who had the courage to acknowledge it? You could go mad thinking like that!
He sat back in his chair and pondered. He wondered if you could bottle misery. Then he smiled and realised that it really wasn't necessary, there are always Mondays.