Outside the corner shop, lookin’ for my pot. Couldn’t find it. I was so out of it though I couldn’t find my own feet! Louise was there, and Zoe. Zoe felt ill, what with being six months’ pregnant. Not sayin’ she’s easy. Maybe a bit keen, and she still ain’t got no rock on her finger. But why not? Girls can have fun too. While Louise went to get some booze Zoe went to the hat shop doorway opposite to be sick. I was still trying to find my pot, and enough money somewhere in my pockets so I could buy some cigarettes. That’s when Billy turned up. He asked if I was going to Captain Zeez later. I really wanted to, but didn’t fancy it on my own. Zoe wasn’t coming, that’s for sure, and even if Louise came she’d always wander off. I think she was embarrassed to be seen with me. She can be frosty sometimes, and I know I can be kinda gloopy sometimes, too. So I said yeah. To Billy, that is. Louise came out of the shop. She gave me some money for cigarettes and ran to look after Zoe in the hat shop doorway. I think she was annoyed with me. Again.

I went in to buy cigarettes. I was so woozy, I can tell you. That pot was good! I swear I nearly collapsed on the floor. Somehow I came round a bit when I got to the tall counter. I nearly had to stand on tiptoes to reach it. It helped that they were changing over cashiers and I had to wait a bit for them to sort out the cash in the till. I smiled at them too. Always wins people over. I knew the woman behind the till with the downturned eyes. I don’t know how.

When I came out Louise and Zoe were gone. Billy was still there, leanin’ on the phone box with his red neckerchief below his double chin and full toothy grin filling his happy round face. His bit-too-tight t-shirt was printed with dark comic book scenes and his protruding belly made the stretched material shine under the streetlight. He kept his hands in his jeans’ pockets, ruckling up his brown leather jacket. His dark hair danced in the warm breeze. I said I needed to go home first. He said we should go to his first so he could drop his Triumph off and have something to eat, his dad will have made something.

I was sat there with Billy and his dad watchin’ some show on telly. I wanted to watch the show but not tonight. Tonight I wanted to go dancing. I told Billy, and then I said to his dad that we’d have to go because we were going out and we’d be late. His dad didn’t seem to mind. He’d made extra beans on toast for me, which was a shame because Billy hadn’t touched any of his. As I left I heard his mother say something and his father replied.
“She’s just a nice girl needs some comfort, let her alone.”
“You shouldn’t let her in,” I heard his mum say as his dad shut the door.

We walked up the street, all the cats were out in the sharp suits and duck-butt hair, piling out of the dance halls, off up to Captain Zeez. I was so cranked up! But I had to go home and get changed first. Billy said I looked fine, but I wanted to. So we found a bus. It was one of those bar buses that served drinks, with seats around the edge facing the middle. Billy sat on the opposite side to me, next to two mums. I shouted to him to come sit next to me, but he didn’t seem to hear me. I heard one mum say his name within a whisper, “Billy Ray Beans,” Cool name, huh? I sure thought so. Their whispers mingled with the clang of sherbet cocktails and the fizz of soda water, “That young lad. Poor soul. His mum works in Laycocks, that little corner shop down Miley Street.” Fizz! Fizz! “They say she looks awful sad all the time.” She said somethin’ else in a sad tone, but I wasn’t paying attention. Billy had disappeared. Couldn’t see him anywhere. I looked all round the bus. When I got back he was sat there, right where he was before. We got off the bus and I made it clear to him this was nothin’ like a date. I was only going to the dance with him because he’d said I was a bit of an oddball and he liked my kookieness, and I felt the same about him. Pure coincidence. And I liked banana and peach smoothies with lime. So did he. That was the only reason. Nothin’ else. He agreed it was too. I couldn’t see his face when he said it, but I think he sounded a bit disappointed.

I got changed and we went to Captain Zeez. It’s always a blast at Captain Zeez. I danced on top of the plastic boat. I could feel my petticoats swinging around me, and with my yellow fitted shirt I must have looked amazing up there. People tried to bash my ears, but I didn’t want to stop. Why should I? I told them to get bent. The music was still playin’. Billy was still there, watchin’ me on top of that plastic boat. No gingles for me! The song finished and I slid down the boat on my petticoats. My shoes had gone though, so I went to find them, and Billy. I couldn’t find either. I was still lookin’ when they found me, all concerned eyes and soothing voices.

I will always remember that night at Captain Zeez. It was only a few months after the accident, so the nurses told me anyways. Billy had said it was okay, so I knew it would be. When I flew through the air it was like slow motion. Riding on the breath of the world. The nothing of our lives. The nothing that Billy filled. I don’t remember the funeral, but everyone said it happened. I stopped going round to see Billy’s dad once the doctors took me over. I wonder now what he must have thought, sitting there with his beans on toast. I miss Billy. But he’ll always be with me, on the bus, or outside the corner shop, or watching me on that plastic boat.

I never did find my shoes.




Epoch of Madness – The Plan



Undercarriage of Injustice


Since the humans of earth have decided to enter the Epoch of Madness by giving the red button to an orange bewigged undercarriage of injustice named after a flatulent cartoon duck, I have decided to emigrate to Mars. Saturn was my first thought, but its gaseous rumblings would remind me too much of home, and for this tremendous voyage and subsequent colonisation there must be no room for sentimentality. Tyrannical rule of a newly captured planet is hard enough. Red also suits my mood.


I will, as a token of my superior rule, be giving free emancipation to those humans who wish to join me in kicking this old outdated planet aside. I understand that some humans may find the thought of leaving their home planet daunting, in which case a no win, no tree kidnapping service will be provided.


You’re welcome.


It must be understood and emphatically agreed by all kidnappees, voluntary or screaming, that my thoughts, words, and commands are absolute, and I will not tolerate any disobedience, free thought, or knitting for the duration of your enslavement*.


My first task as supreme ruler (imperial only) will be to build a 60 earth feet** wall around Mars, and I shall require some hands capable of such hysterical…historical megalithical sculpting. Therefore, only slaves with hands will be allowed to take part in the construction of aforementioned wall. Slaves without hands must collect dust which will be piled higher than the Olympus Mons, making the largest mountain in the universe as monument to my selfless deliverance of the unhanded from inequality and subjugation.


Once built, the wall will provide the perfect eclipse behind which my plans for the exploitation of Earth’s humans will take shape. Such will be their misery, their hopelessness, their brutal sadness on their outdated planet that the craving within the pleasure part of their inferior brains will swell with longing. With the flood of unhappiness engulfing their meaningless lives they will do anything to fill the skull splitting black hole of inner despair. And I, ruler, tyrant, female woman thing, shall be their heroin of misspelt heroes.


With devious efficiency and belligerent force I shall infiltrate the underground pleasure providers with a weapon so powerful it would make all red buttons to the earth’s destruction melt into a pool of pathetic plastic goo. This weapon, feared by the orange one, and other undercarriages of injustice who believe they are in charge of their mounds of soil across the earth, will secretly spread dopamine across the lands, filling the oppressed with glee, the depressed with squee, and the repressed with the dignity of upturned mouths. What is this weapon you ask?





Specifically baby cats.


Specifically laughing baby cats.


Humans have such weakness for laughing cats. A human’s weakness for laughing cats is laughable in itself. The fine brains of these creatures worked this out long ago, during the times of Egyptian rule when the Sun God Ra shimmered at the squeak of a playful kitten, making him sink behind the pyramids before opening the back door. Such outrage did this cause the Lord of Cats that a vow was taken by all cat kind to oppress those with the opposable thumbs via the art of LOLing. Having held extensive strokies with the Lord of Cats I have procured the loyalty of the Purring Army through a mutually agreed act of pleasure exchange (chin based). I impress upon you the magnitude of controlling force this weapon will bring me, and you will do well to heed its effects upon those which you will leave behind. Any thoughts of sorrow, any moods of compassion, any hedonistic leanings of love, unity or solidarity will be beaten from within you and dumped on Mercury where it will be scorched into oblivion along with your left nipple.


The LOL will rule, and thusly will I.


*until the end of time itself

**Feet will be provided by excess slave legs. (I hear stump blisters cause the most unbearable pain; just another perk of the job, other than the getting to do what I tell you to do bit. Again, you’re welcome.)