Writing – Come and Get Me.

Dylan wanted to meet some aliens. He’d wanted to meet some for ages but they never seemed to show up. He had tried calling out to them. Every night he would stand in his garden, look up at the stars and shout ‘come and get me!’ but they never answered him. He thought maybe he wasn’t shouting loud enough so he bought a megaphone. Surely they’d hear if he used a megaphone. He’d always assumed that they would be able to sense his pleas for attention through the use of highly advanced technology, possibly involving crystals and lasers or something like that. He didn’t know the exact way in which they operated, it was more of an instinctual thing, but he was fairly sure crystals and laser were part of their set up. Also telepathy, they had to be telepathic. But no, they didn’t pick up on his calls. So he went online and bought a megaphone. A really powerful megaphone, the biggest and most expensive one he could get.

When it arrived he was made up. He opened the box, popped in the batteries and switched it on. As he was indoors he thought it best just to test it out by whispering.

“Come and get me,” he whispered. His voice was amplified and filled the room like a big booming yell. This was a good megaphone. He couldn’t wait to try it out that night. He was so excited.

Dylan started running through in his head what he hoped would happen. He would stand at the end of his garden in the same spot he’d being standing in each evening for the last three years and he would call out to the aliens. There would be a light in the sky which, to the untrained eye, looked just like an ordinary star. But Dylan would know it wasn’t just a regular star and that it was in fact a space craft. Most likely powered by crystals or lasers or something. An alien onboard the spacecraft would hear him and use it’s long grey finger to fiddle with the controls and change course towards Dylan’s garden. Dylan would see the spacecraft become larger as it descended. His garden would appear to change from night to day as the light from the crafts undercarriage shone down on him. There would be a gentle humming sound coming from the crystal powered engine and a hatch would open. A big round laser beam would shoot out from the hatch and onto the ground. Then the aliens, or perhaps just a single alien, would step out from the laser beam and greet him.

He’d imagined the scenario many many times. Sometimes the spacecraft would be flat and disc like and sometimes it would be a perfect sphere. It would give off a buzzing sound which would be both calming but also invigorating. The laser from the hatch would sometimes be bright white, sometimes yellow and now and then it was red. The aliens always looked the same. They would be naked, grey in colour, roughly four foot in height and they’d have large oval shaped heads. Their eyes would be big, black and shaped like fat almonds. They didn’t have a nose or a mouth because they didn’t need to breath and they communicated telepathically. They would have a single finger on each hand as they had evolved to a point were most of their tasks could be done using just the power of their minds. He’d hear their thoughts as they spoke directly to his brain and they would say hello and then ask him to step into the laser. Next thing he would be transported inside the spacecraft and it would be marvellous. The interior would be perfectly white and gleaming. There would be a few lights that blinked and a small control panel that the aliens would used to fly the spacecraft. They would gather round him and all telepathically introduce themselves. They’d ask him questions about the planet Earth and Dylan would tell them everything he knew. He’d tell the aliens about the history of the planet, he’d tell them about it’s technology and how it was primitive and crude compared to their own crystal and laser based one. The aliens would politely acknowledge this and share a friendly joke with Dylan. Wasn’t the planet Earth a funny little place, they’d all think together, with it’s messy carbon fuels and it’s antiquated way of looking at things. Dylan would agree and then one of the aliens would press a button on the control panel and off they’d go; up up and away into space. They’d take Dylan on amazing adventures and show him the beauty of the universe. It would be great.

So it wasn’t as if Dylan hadn’t given this any thought. No, he’d spent a considerable amount of time contemplating the whole thing. And now he had a megaphone then at last the aliens would be able to hear him. Tonight they’d finally come and visit him. Finally. He supposed he should smarten himself up a bit, maybe have a wash, brush his teeth and comb his hair. Clean underwear would be nice too. He knew the aliens wouldn’t be able to smell him if he was a bit sweaty, he doubted they concerned themselves with things such as body odour or scruffy clothes but he thought it was only polite to make that little bit of extra effort. After all he was going to be the ambassador for the planet Earth soon. So he got a bath and put on his best shirt and trousers. He considered wearing a tie, but the only one he had was the black one he wore at funerals so he decided against it. Too depressing, the aliens would probably sense the negative vibrations from the funeral tie. He looked in the mirror. The shirt was a bit tight and it made him look chubby so he changed back into his comfy t-shirt, the one with the yin-yang sign on. The t-shirt was a message to the aliens, it showed them that he understood about the duality of the universe and how everything was interconnected. They’d understand. Then he realised that the t-shirt and trouser combo he was wearing looked a bit odd. The trousers didn’t go with the top and made him feel uncomfortable so he put his favourite jeans back on. He thought that maybe he was overthinking this, after all the aliens would be naked. So he stripped off all his clothes, grabbed his megaphone and went out into the garden.

When he got to his usual shouting spot he flicked the switch on the megaphone and cranked the volume up to maximum. He cleared his throat, pointed the megaphone towards the sky and began shouting.

“Come and get me! Come and get me! Come and get me!”

Nothing happened.

“Come and get me! Come and get me! Come and get me!”

Silence.

“Come and get me! Come and get me! Come and get me!”

Then there was a sound, quite a loud sound actually.

“Will you just shut up, I’ve got work in the morning. If you don’t quit it Dylan I’m phoning the police!” It was Mrs Rogers from next door. This wasn’t the first time she’d moaned at him. Why couldn’t she just leave him be? He’d told her all about the aliens so it’s not as if she didn’t know what he was up to. She was normally okay with him, now and then she’d make the odd comment about him calling out to them, but she was usually fine. He stepped out from his shouting spot and walked up the garden so he could see her. She was standing looking down onto his garden from her bedroom window.

“Mrs Rogers, please, this is really important. I’ve just got a new megaphone phone, look.” He waved his new megaphone at her. She looked horrified.

“Dylan son, what are you doing? Where are you clothes?”

“It’s okay Mrs Rogers, they won’t mind. They don’t wear clothes either.” Dylan smiled at Mrs Rogers but she quickly drew her curtains and he saw her bedroom go off. He put the megaphone to his mouth.

“Mrs Rogers, what’s wrong? Mrs Rogers! Mrs Rogers! Mrs Rogers?” She didn’t reply.

Dylan walked back to his shouting spot. She’s probably just gone back to bed, he thought, she knows how important this was to him. Mrs Rogers understood. He turned his attention back to the stars and began calling out to the aliens.

“Come and get me! Come and get me! Come and get me!”

He’d had been shouting for about five minutes when the lights came. At last, thought Dylan, at last. He wasn’t expecting them to be blue but at least they were here now. They lit up his garden and he quickly scanned the sky for the spacecraft. Then he spotted it. It looked like an ordinary star but he knew different. He waited for it to get bigger but before it had a chance to adjust it’s crystal powered engine an unseen force hit him from behind. He was thrown forward and landed in the thorny bushes at the end of the garden. Shocked and scratched Dylan tried to make sense of the situation. Why were the aliens being so hostile? Why weren’t they coming in peace? Why was there two police officers standing over him and why were they pointing their tazers at him?

The largest of the two officers grabbed hold of Dylan while the other put the handcuffs on him. He was led out of his garden, through his house and into the street. Some of the neighbours had come out into their front gardens and were standing and staring, some were laughing, some pointing and some just shook their heads. Dylan was bundled into the back of the police van, the officer driving put his foot on the accelerator and the van moved to the end of the street, made a left turn and headed towards the station.

Dylan started to regret not wearing his best shirt, trousers and tie that evening.

Writing – The Other Day

 

The other day I was on my way to the shop when I saw a man walking on the opposite side of the street. There’s not much point going into what I was getting from the shop as it has nothing to do with the story.

No, I saw this man walking and…well okay, if you really must know I was going to get a bottle of milk. Not a proper glass bottle – it was one of the plastic ones. I’m not even sure they sell milk in glass bottles any more. I’ll keep my eye out next time I’m at the shop and get back to you on that one. Anyway, the other day I saw a man walking on the opposite side of the street…four pints. It’s actually less than four pints, more like three and half. Three point five one nine five one two be exact. And before you ask it was whole milk, the one with a blue label. So just so we’re all on the same page – The other day I was on my way to the shop for 3.51951 pints of whole milk and I saw this man walking on the opposite side of the street. Cornflakes. It was for my cornflakes all right?

Look I’m not being funny and I know you are interested in the tale and want all the fine details but I haven’t even managed to get past the first sentence yet. Are you going to be like this all the time? I hope not. Okay here goes.

The other day I was on my way to the shop for 3.51951 pints of whole milk for my cornflakes and I saw this man walking on the opposite side of the street when… Kellog’s, they were Kellog’s Cornflakes. I don’t like the cheap ones. Not many people do to be honest. Well I don’t think they do anyway. I’ve heard people say they prefer the cheaper ones but quite frankly I think they just say that to be all contrarian. Either that or they are embarrassed because they get the funny tasting cheap cornflakes instead of Kellog’s. Not sure why anyone would buy the cheaper ones. But they do. In my opinion it’s worth paying the few extra pennies because everybody knows that Kellog’s cornflakes are the best. It says so on the box – The original and the best. You can’t argue with that can you?

So anyway. The other day I was on my way to the shop for 3.51951 pints of whole milk for my Kellog’s cornflakes and I saw this man walking on the opposite side of the street when he..It was the morning okay! When I got up I noticed that I only had a tiny little bit of milk left in the fridge so I saved that to use in a cup of tea and I was going to get a nice fresh bottle to put on my cornflakes. I know some folk like to eat cornflakes at other times of the day but not me okay? I only ever have cornflakes for my breakfast. So obviously it was morning. Right, can I carry on?

The other MORNING I was on my way to the shop for 3.51951 pints of whole milk for my Kellog’s cornflakes and I saw this man walking on the opposite side of the street when he..what? I wasn’t shouting. The capital letters were for emphasis. Don’t be so sensitive. I’ll start again.

The other morning I was on my way to the shop for 3.51951 pints of whole milk for my Kellog’s cornflakes and I saw this man walking on the opposite side of the street when he. It was a Sunday. It was a bloody Sunday okay? No it’s got nothing to do with the U2 song. You’ve just got me all wound up and I snapped. Look I’m sorry but come one? All I wanted to do was tell my story and you want the minutia of everything. I haven’t even got to the interesting bit yet. I expect you want to know what the weather was like eh? Which direction the wind was blowing from and maybe it’s reading on the Beaufort scale? The precise hue of the sky. Would you like to know that? Maybe you are interested in the temperature? Fine. Just for you…

The other Sunday morning the sky was a stunning shade of azure blue, a gentle wind was coming in from the West, which probably measured about two or three on the Beaufort scale. It was around eighteen degrees Celsius. I was on my way to the shop for 3.51951 pints of whole milk for my Kellog’s cornflakes and saw this man walking on the opposite side of the street when he..it’s a way of measuring wind speed that an Irish scientist came up with during the 1800’s. He was in the Royal Navy and his name was Francis Beaufort, they used it on boats. I don’t know the ins and outs. If you are really interested you should probably go and look it up. It has absolutely no significance to the story whatsoever. Not even sure why you asked if you didn’t know what it was. It’s not like I’ve got all the time in the world to write this.

I’m starting to think maybe my story telling isn’t what you’re used to. I’m not sure what you usually read but if you are expecting me to describe every single little thing in intricate detail then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. Sorry but that’s just how it is.

And another thing if I’m being honest, I can’t remember if the sky was azure or turquoise or ultramarine. Same goes for the wind speed and temperature. I’m making it up just so I can crack on with the story and I must say it really is starting to become a bit of a strain trying to tell you all this.

Also, you do realise you don’t even know what the man on the opposite side of the street looked like? Here’s me going on about the sky and the wind and what type of milk I was going out to buy and I haven’t even told you about the man yet. Well here’s a thing, here’s something actually interesting.

That man on the other side of the street was my doppelgänger. He looked exactly like me in every conceivable way. And guess what? I went and spoke with him. We had a fascinating conversation. He explained to me who is was and why he was there and we started to come up with ideas on how to take advantage of our unique situation. We drew up plans for some quite daring escapades. Then we went out and did everything we’d planned. You should have seen us. We had a grand old time, we spent days getting up to all sorts. But I’m not going to tell you about any of it.

Just try and use your imagination for once.

Writing – Don’t You Forget About Me

It was her eyes that he first noticed. Brown with a twinkle that lit up his heart. He loved her. They’d gone out for about a year then it happened. One minute he’s living in a state of bliss, all loved up and happy and warm. Next thing that cheeky little shit comes along and takes that all away from him. Mates they were as well. Fucking snake.

To be fair it was over twenty years ago and he had moved on. It’s not like he’d built shrine for her or anything. He did think about her from time to time. And him. But he dealt with it and now things were better. He had Sophie and Greg and of course Sara. He’d met her when he’d just started up the business and was fitting a worktop in the cafe she was working at. Sara had been good for him. She’d help keep his head together when it all went pear shaped and he nearly went bankrupt. Just as his firm began to grow again and he was finding his feet Sophie and Greg were born. At the time he wasn’t too sure. Twins would be expensive but they’d be okay. Sara would find part time work as they got older and started school. He was doing great. Lovely kids and a diamond of a wife.

But that shady cunt sharking in on Jane behind his back. Probably planned it. Getting him drunk and asking him all those questions. He most likely had a tape recorder or something. It’d only been that one time after the school disco and he was pissed. Why did he have to go and blab about it? Slimy little grass. Next thing Jane has fucked him off and she’s with that rat. Bang out of order. He’s lucky he didn’t punch his head in. He should’ve done. Too late now.

On the way to the kitchen he hears the kids arguing about something. He’s not even going there, no point getting into it with a pair of stroppy teenagers. Especially when they start using all those fancy words. God knows where they get that from, probably those videos they watch on YouTube. He still didn’t know what fallacious meant but apparently that’s what his arguments were. They talk circles round him and make him feel a right twat. No let them argue with each other.

He grabs his keys and jacket and goes out to sit in the car.

The thing is this, it’s not like he’s totally bothered by it. He manages okay but sometimes it makes him angry. He switches on the stereo, closes his eyes and tries to relax. There’s a crackle the a song begins to play. Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds. He sings along but by the second verse he’s had enough. He puts the keys in the ignition and starts the car.

He knows exactly where he lives. He spotted the dickhead in town once and followed him. He still lived in his parents house. His fucking parents! Probably too scared to live like a proper man. He had his own house when he was in his twenties. Granted on a mortgage but it was his.

The song is still playing. That was his and Jane’s song. He’d gotten her into Simple Minds. Bought her the album Once upon a Time for her birthday. He remembered drinking vodka with her and dancing round the car park that night. He loved that. He loved her. But then that prick spoiled it all.

He pushed down on the accelerator. The song ended, there was a pause and then it played again on repeat. Then he just drove and drove.

When he got there it was getting dark. He could see the lights through the blinds. He stood in front of the house and looked at it. He remembered that front door. The big brass knocker in the shape of a lions head. The thick frosted glass windows. He thought about kicking the thing in but instead he calmed down and took a deep breath. He walked a few steps and then bang-bang-banged the lions head against the door. A light came on in the hallway and through the frosted glass he could see a shape moving towards the door. It opened and they both stared at each other.

“Can I help you?”

“Can you help me? Can you fucking help me? I should knock you out dickhead!”

The door began to close. The coward was trying to run away. Fuck that, he’d driven two hours to get there. He wasn’t having the door slammed in his face. He lunged forward and jammed his foot against the closing door then pushed his way into the hall. The little shit tried running but he caught him by his hair and pulled him back. He fell onto the floor in a heap and started whining.

“Please, stop. We haven’t got anything. What do you want?”

“Are you serious? Do you think I’ve forgotten. An apology would be a start.”

“I’m sorry, please just go.”

“Why did you do it eh? Why did you steal her from me?”

“What?”

“Don’t act stupid. You know what you did, you’ve just apologised. Were you recording me that night?”

“I don’t know what you mean. Recording you? Just tell me please, what do you want?”

He punched him in the face. Hard.

“I should’ve done that years ago. In fact.”

He punched him three more times. His head bounced off the wall the third time and he slumped onto the carpet. There was blood then a scream. Standing looking at him was a woman and a young lad probably a bit younger than Greg. But he recognised those eyes. Her eyes. It was Jane. He smiled.

“Jane, hey it’s me. Look I’ve been thinking about you recently and I just wanted to say..”

Jane screamed again then took out a mobile phone and started dialling.

“Jane what’s up, it’s me. Don’t scream. Look at me. Let me see those lovely eyes. Come on Jane, why are you crying?”

He began to sing Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds as Jane and the boy were sobbing loudly. The sirens of the police car drowned out all the noise just before the end of the second verse.

Writing – Doing The Lines

“I’ve been stuck over here for days now. I’ve barely eaten and I’ve been drinking water from the tap in the toilets over there.”

“Oh my word, that sounds awful. Well we can take you into Maidstone if that’s any help?”

“Thanks, but I have most of the money I need to get to Liverpool. I just need another £8 and I can buy a ferry ticket and then a coach straight back. I hate to sound cheeky but a hot meal would be nice too.”

“Hang on a second…Brian pass me your wallet..here, this should help. You look like you haven’t slept for days.”

“Thank you, thank you. I think I got a few hours last night, my head’s spinning. Honestly, you’ve really helped me out.”

“It’s okay honey, you get yourself back home That’ll be enough for the tickets and something to eat.”

“Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. If you give me your address I can pay you back when I get home.”

“I won’t hear of any such thing, I can’t have one of our soldiers stuck in this place.”

“Are you sure? I really appreciate it. Thank you.”

“My pleasure. Look the traffic is starting to move again. You take care. Bye now.”

“Bye, this means a lot. Again thanks.”

As the car moves away I begin to walk towards the main building. The ferry port is as busy as ever and I slink behind a cabin. Dodge is crouched down and leaning against the wall making a spliff. He looks up.

“How much?”

“20”

“Not bad. What was it? Soldier or stag night?”

“Soldier. They were an old couple. Very patriotic.”

I pass him the cash. He lifts up his t-shirt, unzips a money belt, jams the notes into it and smiles.

“Good, euros too, I’m sick of going into that bureau de change. Want some of this or are you going back out?”

“I’ll have a smoke later, I’m on a roll.” I peek around the corner to make sure the old couple’s car has moved out of sight, “Coast’s clear, back to work.”

Dodge nods then continues building his spliff as I make my way back to the roadside.

Welcome to The Port of Calais, France. This has been my temporary residence and workplace for nearly two years now. Now when I say workplace it’s not the type of work the you are likely to have done yourself. If you had then I’d probably know you and if I know you then you won’t be wasting time reading. You’ll be out doing the lines. That’s our name for it, the lines. It’s what we do.

Each day I grab breakfast from the vending machine. Usually just a butty or something light as I’m generally ill from the night before. Depends what I’ve had. If I’ve just been on the ale then I’m not that bad but if I’ve been doing coke or pills I can’t stomach much. I make my way to the road that runs through the port. On that road are cars slowly making their way off the ferry from Dover to the customs area. In those cars are my targets, who’s money will make it’s way from their wallets to my pockets. It’s pretty easy, all I have to do is ask and they will provide. I tell then that I am stuck in France without any money and that I need to get back to see my wife/child/mother/father/uncle/brother/best friend/grandparents/whoever. I tell them that I am in the army/on a stag do/working for a charity/family holiday and that I have lost my bag/ticket/wallet/credit card/mobile phone/suitcase/friends or family. It all depends really. If it’s an elderly couple I am in the army in an attempt to appeal to their patriotism and civic pride. If it’s a car full of younger people, particularly lads around my age, then I am on a stag do and have been separated from the rest of the gang. I tell them about the wild time I’ve had and how I was held up at knife point or how a prostitute stole all my stuff. They understand because they are young lads too, they know how it goes so they help me out. It’s situational, I think on my feet. I take the ‘nos’ and the and the ‘sorry can’t helps’ and the ‘fuck offs’ exactly the same way. I smile and move on. There’s always more cars. Always.

At first I was surprised myself how easy it was. Walk up, tell a tale and get paid. A majority of people generally give me something and even if it is just few euros or some food it doesn’t matter, it all adds up. I usually give the food to some of the homeless that hang round the port. If anything it keeps them away from the roadside so I can get on with my work in peace. I don’t need those tramps getting in on the action. Unless of course it’s something nice, and provided it sealed, then in which case I’ll have it or give it to Dodge.

At the end of the day Dodge and me split what we’ve got and head back into town. We’ve found a nice little B&B. The owner Al, an old guy from Morocco or Tunisia or somewhere sells us good hash. We are fairly sure his nephews are bringing it in but I mind my own business. Dodge reckons he knows where he keeps his stash. He started poking about but I told him to leave it, we’re onto a good thing here. I’m getting hundreds of pound a day and I’m not arsed about a bit of pot. The lines are where the money is at.

I get closer to the road and I scan the row of cars. As they crawl along I spot my first possible benefactors. A couple, slightly older than me, maybe married. The girl looks a bit like my sister. That’s it, I know what I need to do. I approach the car, it’s window is wound down. That’s good, I don’t have to tap on it to get their attention. That pisses some people off that, it’s not like I bang on their windows but some of them get a bit annoyed, which doesn’t help my cause at all.

“Excuse me, look I’m really sorry to bother you. I wouldn’t normally even dream of asking but I’m in a bit of a situation and I was hoping you may be able to help me out?” I’ve said the exact same thing so many times it just rolls off the tongue.

The guy driving looks at me and smiles slightly.

“What’s up mate?”

“Well the thing is I’ve lost my case with all my stuff in, all I have is my passport. I’m trying to get back home, it’s my sister’s wedding you see. My mobile was in the case so I can’t even phone anyone. I just need to…”

I stop as the window slides up. He’s not having it. Next.

I spend the next few of hours on the roadside only stopping to have a piss or pass money onto Dodge. It was his thing this, he figured it out. A few years ago he was genuinely stranded in France after losing his bag. He said that he’d only asked three people and had enough money for his ticket but he decided to carry on. By the evening he had close to £400 and a bag full of food and drink. He didn’t even buy a ticket back until six months later. When he got back home he told me about it and the next day we both bought tickets to Calais. I pop back over to the UK every few weeks for a day or two, put some money in the bank, have a laugh with the lads then it’s back over here to the land of plenty. I love it.

It’s getting dark and I feel like a smoke and a few drinks. I’ve got a case of Moet back at the B&B and start thinking about jumping in a taxi. Dodge will have made enough by now so I head off to find him. He’ll either be further up the roadside or at the cabin, I’d call him but I’ve no phone on me. Once, mine started ringing the second after I’d told some Scottish blokes that I’d lost it with my other stuff. Two of them, big fuckers, jumped out the car and chased me round the port. Now we keep them at home just to be safe.

When I get to the cabin Dodge isn’t there. I’m about to check the road when I notice a chunk of hash on the floor. I pick it up, there’s at least an ounce of it and it’s the same stuff we normally get so it must be Dodge’s. I put it in my pocket and walk back to the road. Fancy leaving that behind. Dodge must be smashed. I hope he’s made some money and not been sat there smoking all day. Divvy!

I get to the road and hunt for Dodge. I can’t find him in any of our usual spots so I decide to go back to the cabin and have a pipe of hash. I’ve only taken a few steps when I hear his voice. He’s standing next to a green and white van and he’s holding his arms out. He looks stressed so I begin running over to see what’s going on. Just as I get next to the van I hear who Dodge is talking to before I can see them. There’s two voices, they’re shouting at Dodge and they sound angry as fuck. No idea what they are saying because they are yelling in Arabic. Dodge sees me and looks slightly relieved but I can see him trembling. What the fuck is going on? Then there’s a flash of black as I’m hit from behind.

I wake up in the back of the green and white van feeling groggy as fuck. My whole body is sore but it’s my throbbing head that bothers me the most. I’m thirsty and I can hear Dodge moaning. He’s curled up at the the other side of the van and there’s blood coming from his ear. The van is moving and it’s moving fast. I go to get up so I can speak to Dodge but I can’t even move. I’m tied up. I’m fucking tied up!

“Dodge! Dodge! What’s fucking going on!” My voice is croaky. My shout whispery and weak.

He groans but I can’t make out what he’s saying. My stomach rumbles and I wriggle a bit and to try to loosen the rope around my wrists and ankles. I can’t do it. The rope’s too strong and I’m too weak. I feel well and truly battered. Also, I need a piss.

The van doesn’t stop. Dodge doesn’t move and eventually I give up trying to hold it in and just let it flow. The warm piss soaks into my jeans and I enjoy the relief. It’s a moment of bliss in an otherwise shitty situation. The piss goes cold, the van continues on and on and on, I get tired and fall asleep.

It’s dark when I wake. The van carries on and my body still aches. I’m starving and mouth feels like it’s full of sand. How long it’s been? I call over to Dodge but he’s asleep. I try to move but it’s pointless, plus the ropes hurt when I try. At least my jeans are dry. How long has it been? So hungry. The van never stops and eventually I drift off to the sound of the creaking van and the rumbling of the road.

As the rattle of the door wakes me up I see three faces staring at me. Three familiar faces. Al the B&B owner looks angry and he is holding a bottle of Moet. His two nephews are smiling. One of them is tall and thin with a mop of curly hair and the other is a big guy, muscly and hard looking. They both start banging the floor of the van.

“Wake up English shit, time to get out,” the thin one shouts. Before I can utter a word the big one has grabbed my feet and is pulling me out the van. My already sore head bashes against a crate and drop onto the floor in the sand. The sand?

I’m in a fucking desert!

I crane my head to see where exactly I am but all I can see is more sand, no people, buildings, no anything. Just sand. Then I hear a thud and look back to the van. Dodge is on the floor, he shakes his head and mouths the word ‘sorry’.

Why am I in a fucking desert and why is Dodge sorry?

The answer soon comes in the form of a bottle of Moet to the ribs courtesy of Al.

“You English fuck. I let you stay in my house and I treat you well and you steal? Why?”

“Ugh?”

“Stupid fuck.” My ribs crack after another serving from Al. That’s my fucking Moet that. Why is Al twatting me with a bottle of my own champagne in a desert? What the fuck?

“It was me Al,” Dodge’s mouth is bloody and messed up as he splutters. “I took it Al, I’m sorry. It was a mistake. Al please.” Dodge is crying. What’s he done?

“You both stole my hash you fucks. You both now pay you thieving shitheads”. At first I’m just happy that Al doesn’t hit me again, but then he reaches into his jacket pocket, leans forward and holds a knife close to my face.

“Mate, Al, look this has nothing to do with me. Dodge told you. Dodge tell him again! Al stop, please.” Now I’m crying.

Al laughs and pops the Moet open, the cork lands in the sand, he takes a swig then tips the bottle over my my head. I feel it pour onto my face and as some goes in my mouth I realise how thirsty I really am. I feel like lapping up the champagne before it hits the sand. Al takes the knife and cuts the ropes on my ankles and wrists. I keep still as he walks over to Dodge, kicks him twice in the stomach and then cuts the ropes from him.

“Now you go home boys. Now you fuck off to England and stay there. I give you this as a gift.” Al drops the bottle of Moet onto the sand. I indistinctively grab it before it spills. Al and his nephews start laughing.

“Goodbye English.” Al chimes as he climbs into the van. The nephews take a final look at the broken messes that are Dodge and me. They are both grinning at us as they get into the van. The engine starts, there’s a cloud of sand and I watch it drive off into the desert.

Hungry, thirsty and feeling like shit I lie there motionless.

I think I might be stuck.

Writing – Higgetypiggetypong (scene from script)

Higgetypiggetypong – Script (scene 01)

 

FADE IN:

INT.BEDROOM – MORNING

Heavy curtains are drawn, and the sound of early morning traffic can be heard through the open window. Beer bottles and pizzas boxes are strewn on the floor. From a dark corner of the room a strange moaning sound can be heard from LOUIS as he begins to wake up.

LOUIS

(moaning)

Eurgh! my head.

LOUIS moves gets up to move from his resting place in the corner of the room but falls over as soon as he moves.

LOUIS

Eurgh! my back.

As LOUIS falls he moves into the light and it becomes apparent that he is a GIANT FROG. Lying on his back LOUIS opens his eyes.

LOUIS

(grunts)

As LOUIS looks down at his body he is surprised to realise he has turned into a giant frog.

LOUIS

Argh! What the? How the? I’m a f…I feel sick.

LOUIS passes out. Flashback sequence to the night before.

CUT TO:

INT.living room – evening

Loud music is coming from the stereo and LOUIS and his friend FRANK are drunk. they are singing/shouting and dancing about the room.

FRANK

Hey Lou, this music is cool! Were did you get it from?

LOUIS

The Internet! I downloaded it!

FRANK

Cool!….what’s downloaded it?

LOUIS

Er, it’s downloading stuff, off the internet…you know?

FRANK

Yeah course I know! The internets, downloaded it. Course I know!

LOUIS moves over to the stereo and turns the volume down.

LOUIS

You don’t know do you Frank?

FRANK

Not really no…it’s computers or something right?

LOUIS

Yeah Frank, it’s computers, come on mate I’ll show you the internet.

FRANK

Magic!

LOUIS and FRANK walk over to the computer and LOUIS switches it on. FRANK looks on in amazement.

FRANK

So the internets are in there then? That box thingy?

LOUIS

No, you connect to an ISP and…

FRANK has a very puzzled look on his face.

LOUIS

er yeah, the internets are in the box thing.

The computer screen comes on and as LOUIS starts to log onto the internet FRANK’S eyes light up. It’s obvious that he’s never even seen the internet or even used a computer.

FRANK

Wow. Google, what’s that then?

LOUIS

You type in what you are looking for and it finds it for you.

FRANK

Eh? it finds it? cool. Type sexy ladies.

LOUIS

Oh I don’t know Frank mate, probably not many sexy ladies on the internet.

FRANK

Isn’t there? Huh, well let’s look for something else.

LOUIS

(laughing)

Here you are mate, look.

LOUIS types ‘sexy ladies’ and clicks the mouse. FRANK looks at the computer screen and his eyes nearly pop out of his head.

FRANK

Oh my days! Give me a go!

LOUIS

OK mate, look just type what you want then press that big key there, ok?

FRANK

Cool, let me at it.

FRANK stands in front of computer with his hands waving round the keyboard, he has never typed before and he is quite drunk so it proves quite difficult for him to coordinate his hands as he begins to type and hits enter with a flourish.

LOUIS

What’s that? Higgetypiggetypong? What were you trying to type?

FRANK

Hot nipples. Shall I try again?

LOUIS

Hang on! There’s a website called Higgetypiggetypong.com. I got to see this!

CUT TO:

INT.BEDROOM – MORNING

LOUIS is lying on the floor, he opens his eyes and looks at his arms.

LOUIS

Oh my god, I’m a bloody frog. I’ve got to get help – and I’ve got to get to work. Frank!

At that moment a disheveled and hung over FRANK walks into the bedroom rubbing his head. He sees LOUIS and faints.

LOUIS

Oh great.

Writing – Ode to a Pessimist

Ode to a pessimist

 

Each morning when I wake
before I lift a lid
I know one thing for certain
that this day will be shit

 

As I munch my soggy cornflakes
and gulp my tepid tea
the most important meal of the day
feels like the last supper to me

 

Rushing through the traffic
to get to hell on earth
one day they’ll build us robots
so we don’t have to work (yeah right!)

 

Dealing with the public
is sure to make me itch
and working with the general stupid
will never make me rich

 

These monkeys I call colleagues
just make my claret steam
I find it easier to close my eyes
fall asleep at my desk and dream

 

But fuck me if my dreams aren’t shite
nightmares recur each day
I dream I’m awake and I’m in work
even my fantasies are mundane

 

At least it’s nearly 5 o’clock
and I can get off home
get away from all these sad fuckos
and be miserable alone.