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Extract from 'A Tranquil Breeze'

229 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Martinelv
Ecstasy is a dreadful thing, I decide, not being an expert. I feel terrific, affectionate and smooth, with the same sense of nervous peace that a solider returning from protecting innocents from genocide might feel. Tender, psychologically attracted to the strangers seated on a sofa in front of us, ludicrously connected to them. I see candyfloss, they see vengeance. I flutter my eyelashes for reasons I forget and mince extravagantly to the stereo where I proceed to sieve through their collection of CD?s. I select some hideous trance anthem entirely out of tune with the ambience outside my head, but the men here want to keep us happy so they cheer and whoop and the party starts again.

I?m squat on the floor and some odious brute starts to fondle my dreadlocks. He?s already quoting prices, demands, expectations, but it?s too late. I?m in the throes of something more pure and alarming ? a slave to the pounding at the border of my cynicism, to the very edge of the cliff of my doubt where a wave of shocking pleasure pours over me and nudges me in the small of my back. It staggers me to my root. I want to jump up and scream about how I feel. A moment of clarity, a brief moment, chastises me. But how often do you get the chance to act on the detriment of the good you feel? And when you do, I ask myself, why shouldn?t you submit to it? Precious moments, silver gifts. Cherish.

I lay back on the sticky carpet oozing like a beached squid, feeling the roughness of the carpet chafe my skin. My eyes are no longer under my control and they jitter to the far side of the room, guided down a glittering avenue of boogying Christmas lights to where the twins are standing on a hastily prepared stage of old crates and smooching out of rhythm. The men are clapping, having giving up any pretence of civility, not that they had much, urging the twins to display more of the erotic conviction they think they deserve.

Charlie, our host, has his mouth somewhere near my ear. He grabs my chin and pours expensive champagne into my mouth, soiled with drugs of such strength I dare not imagine. The room swells around me, the walls close in, but I accept it, I want it. A television flickers into life in front of me. Through the storm of bliss that continues to assault me I see a badly recorded video of a volcano erupting.

?Doesn?t it make you just so hungry?, Charlie drools, lips to my lobes.

?I?m not hungry,? I say for no reason.

?Just look at it.? He?s somewhere inside my head now, licking the salt off my grey mush. I can smell ozone and sulphur.


?The volcano. Look at the lava creeping down that dusty brown hill. Hasn?t it just got to taste of hot, bitter oranges??

I nod.

?And the crust, it?s sugary, oh so sweet. What you?ve got to do is bite into it slowly.?

It?s all terrible, terrible madness I know, but I follow his lead. Together we press our faces against the screen and crunch into the black toasted lava. Sinking my teeth through the burnt crust I bite down into the nuclear core. It?s like biting into ice-cream on a summers day. But he?s right, it?s true, it tastes so good. Piping hot oranges gone rotten after a day in the sun, molten pips and coriander rocks seeping with murderous sloth through the gaps in my floss. I fall away from the TV feeling nauseous but sated ? starvation followed by gorging on too many chocolate doughnuts.

Charlie is on top of me now, his face looming large and sickly. One of his dogs ambles over and licks my forehead and growls. From where I?m lying I can see the twins on their altar, twisting and cavorting, performing a bizarre gambol with a hint of pagan. The men are beside themselves with a furious lust. One of them reaches out and catches the zip of the boiler suit the twins have been given to wear. Someone else in the crowd pulls him back and in the tangle of bodies the suit slips off. I gurgle with surprise as offal burps out of the suit and gushes onto the floor. Intestines, a pigs head, unidentified slabs of bruised meat, trotters with shit under the nails, skinless buttocks and yellow blobs of fat that shiver disgustingly. An enormous bladder flops to the floor next to my face and begins to empty, jerking bovine piss into my mouth and deflating with a spasm and a sigh. The men are clapping, bellowing, baying with delight, picking up the litter and hurling it around the room. The twins flail around in a circle with the boiler suit around their ankles. Charlie, his face spotted with blood, writhes around on top of me. The catfish sinks away. A tranquil breeze runs its hand over the surface of the canal.

(C) 1999 - 2005 Martin Horton.
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