(Just in case you missed http://scribblers.freeforums.net/thread/314/flash-fiction-november-20th-2015)

Spoiler: Contains profanity! Just so you know.


Pigeon

Wings

School. Teaching, it’s just not for me. Uniforms and rules: no room to manoeuvre, no creativity, no individualism. No understanding. No understanding of complex minds reaching out for help and the result: warnings, detention, exclusions, then; expel the little shit before he kills us all with his deviant attitude of defiance.

Expel the little shit. The boy has little respect for authority, has no respect for authority.

They want me to fall on line, well I can’t. How can I? How can I follow the nerds. There’s no room in the line; no desire to be in the line. The line doesn’t need me either, no desire at the line of desks to share knowledge with an expressive individual. Does not compute with the scholars of dullness, the blinkered academic parent pleasers.

‘What do you mean you got expelled?’ My parents views of a their failing offspring. ‘You prick, you’re a useless little prick.’ Really? That’s really what you think. ‘What will the neighbours say? Father Joseph? My boss, oh no, he can’t find out, I’ll never be able to show my face.’

What?

Fuck the neighbours, fuck the church, fuck your oily grumpy shit of a boss, and fuck you, Mum. Fuck you. I’m leaving.

An’ I did. I left.

I got a job.

I didn’t get a job.

I couldn’t get a job.

There are no fucking jobs. There are no fucking jobs for school dropouts, school throwouts. No jobs for homeless creatives. No jobs and no money. And no one. There’s no one to help and there’s… no one.

A broken window, on a broken street. It’s a glorious gateway to a new home, for now. The dust and dirt, the shards of glass, the pigeon shit. The pigeon shit, my god, everywhere, pigeon shit. Nothing worse, except the needles.

Except the needles weren’t the worst to start with.

I got a girlfriend.

I did, I gotta girlfriend.

She had needles, she had drugs, she had crazy eyes that watered with ecstasy. And fear. Shelley had crazy blue eyes. I never saw her normal eyes, just the crazy ones. I had crazy eyes too, probably. Heroin: analgesic heaven. Euphoric narcotic. Narco euphoria. To heaven and hell and heaven on an endless circling trip.

The first time was the weirdest. The last time was the weirdest too.

The last time.

Shelley flew. Shelley flew away, on the fix of fixes. She dissolved into the numbness, the swirling, beautiful numbness. She dissolved. I know because I dissolved next to her. On the pigeon shit carpet. She escaped to the bright lights, the cloud of peace, the cloud of forgetfulness. Escaped from the shit.

When I returned, she stayed. I returned to find her cold. Cold and bubbled with vomit. Cold. The stink of puke. The pigeons pecking at the regurgitated cubes of food. She didn’t return.

‘Get away from her you fuckers,’ I shouted. ‘Get the fuck away from her.’

And they did.

And so did I.

I left her.

I had to, I couldn’t…

I just couldn’t.

They’d blame me, throw the book at me, throw a punch or two for good measure. They’d lock me up. Prison. Prison nutters, they’d knife me for killing Shelley. I didn’t kill her, she fell, from the clouds of heaven. She lost her grip on the clouds and slipped to hell, with the pigeons. She slipped with the pigeons. They won’t believe me.

I had to leave her, I just had to.

I couldn’t…

And then I’m here. High above the ball-freezing water running fast below me. Deep, darkest brown and quick. And ball-bloody-freezing. Hands cold on the frost covered cast iron, gripping hard out of necessity. The loud rattling thunder of early morning trains shakes me, I grip tighter.

The rusting rivets of metal beneath my feet twist my ankles, I shuffle on the edge. Perched on the centre span of the railway bridge, with the pigeons. I’m a pigeon. A bloody pigeon. If I’m perching like a pigeon, can I fly like a pigeon? Fly like a fucking puke-pecking pigeon. Fly like Shelley.

‘Take me away, Shelley,’ I shout, competing with the rumbling rolling stock. ‘Take me away from the fucking pigeon shit!’

And then she’s here, Angel Shelley, flying towards me with wings of white. Silky white feathers, strong wings keeping her effortlessly afloat. Strong white silky wings, not shitty, dirty pigeon grey wings. Not like my wings – dusty, grubby, broken wings holding me down, keeping me on this ledge of guano. Not like hers. Not like the glistening angelic form in front of me.

Surely, on a flight from heaven; she made it to fucking heaven. Those crazy blues made it to heaven and now they beckon me, those crazy, crazy beautiful eyes; a spell they cast. The fuzzy feeling in my back, the shredding of grey, the bloom of white. She’s conjured me wings. Wings to match hers. Pure, magnificent, strong.

I jump.