Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Short Story.. 'The Real Protagonist'

Okay, so lately I have been looking over some of my old work (including the poetry) and I found this short story. This was inspired my American Horror Story so it fits in well with my spooky Halloween theme right now. Don't laugh at me and I hope you enjoy it!

Prose Piece: The Real Protagonist
I have a story to tell, not a pleasant one. So if you, dear reader, would like to read a story of hope and happiness I suggest you go read another. For my story has no prince or princesses, no superheroes or happy dancing animals. My story is of darkness and that of a life which can only be described as hell, although I did not believe in such things before…

Looking back at my childhood, I recall open, wide, green meadows. We lived with a sense of freedom. My family and I were drunk on happiness. My family consisted of: Mother, Father, my little sister, Eliza and me. I always remember my Father’s pipe, the black soot and smoke as he puffed circles. He was usually unseen, far away in his work place. He would come home asking for his evening tea whilst politely pecking my Mother’s cheek. She was an Aryan beauty: all blue eyes and Marilyn Monroe hair. She was slight and slender, always. From a young age I could hug her and fit both arms around her tiny waist. Mother stayed with us at home, Eliza and me.

Little did we know that on December 5th, 1952, our lives would change forever. It was a dark and dismal day, the sky was awash with clouds. It was the start of the Great Smog. The Great Smog’s dirty smoke choked my Father to death whilst he was walking home from work. A Policeman called to tell us the news. My Mother, caught up in grief and fear, became depressed. She infected us with her illness. Slowly we found ourselves in debt. Neighbours noticed our situation but stood idly by. However, they did not notice the men Mother would bring home. “Friends”, she would tell us, “I need company”. I did not like to think about it at the time, just hoping these greasy haired, wrinkled skinned men did not speak to me. I was told the truth one day, by one of Mother’s ‘friends’. He said “that I should know, as the man of the house”. Whoring herself to pay the bills. Disgust built up inside for the woman who had mothered me, raised me. I wanted to run away and find my Famous Five, I would move to the seaside and explore with my friends. So I ran away, leaving Mother, and Eliza followed in pursuit.

We stalked the streets, never stopping. From sunset to twilight to dusk we walked on to find a new home. Eliza, my faithful, loving sister never moaned of tiredness or cried for Mother. She just quietly held my hand.

Overwhelmed with tiredness and almost starved, we found a kind-looking older lady outside a quaint pub. Leaving Eliza hiding in the shadows, unseen, I approached the lady. I asked “is there any spare food left over?”. She looked at me and then spotted my sister and waved us inside.  With caution I called Eliza across, she hesitated and then scurried to my side. We slid through the pub’s beaten up wooden doors, they creaked open easily with a tap.

Inside the whole room was alight with candles, a beer glass in every man’s hand. The air was filled with laughter. Eliza beamed at me, happy to see so many others happy. The lady spoke whilst leading us to the backroom, “I go by the name Nancy, if you’re wonderin’”. We were handed a golden roll each and we ate them greedily.

On our fourth night there, in the early hours of the morning, I awoke with a start. Eliza, who had been asleep next to me, had vanished. I heard stomach curdling screams and ran towards the noises. A man, much like the ones Mother was ‘friends’ with, stopped me. “This is for the best son”, he spoke with a snigger. In fear I yelled at the top of my lungs “ELIZA!” and everything went black.

I woke, my head heavy and feeling deliriously dizzy. I was unable to move, arms strapped tightly around my waist. I shouted repeatedly: “Eliza! Eliza!”, till I had no voice. This was to no avail. I was trapped in a padded cell…


‘Bang’, Jacqueline knocks on the table distracting me from my memories, “Wake up sleepy head”. A tear rolls down my cheek. Jack grabs my hand pulling me towards her and licks the tear from my face. I feel her long brown curls and stare into those violet eyes of sorrow - she is the opposite of Mother. She helped me when I first arrived here.

Later Jack sneaks into my room, her beautiful eyes spilling tears, she’s scared. “Promise me you’ll remember me” she whispers whilst stroking my lips. I nod, flashes of Eliza go through my mind. Feeling like I have just taken a bullet to the heart I sit back and rock myself as she disappears.

“Jack, are you alright?” I ask, concerned. Her response is a blank stare; she moves her head to stare outside. I touch her hand, nothing. “Jack!” I cry. I shake her shoulders, “Jacqueline, answer me!” I scream at her. Her head rolls. Someone pulls me away, still screaming, they inject something into my arm and the room swims. Locked again in a padded cage, laying on the floor, my mouth dry. Screaming… screaming… help… stuck… trapped… Jack Eliza love family free encase soot smog pain burning numb shock Father I’m help choking help die die…

Happy Halloween,

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