Friday, 27 August 2010

Here's one I made earlier!

Time for something a little different, in the shape of a short story I wrote 23 years ago.

Interesting Feeling

“Fuck’s sake man, get that blade off’ve ‘im! ‘Ees gonna kill that stupid fucka!”
“Bladclaart man, you wanna get the blade you get the blade. ‘Fee wanna kill the man ees gonna kill the man and nuttin’ we can do ‘bout it.”
It’s a wet Brixton night. 
He’s holding me three inches off the ground, my back pressed against the wall of the pub toilet.
I know the guy. In the past he’s been okay, but tonight he’s gone crazy on me.
One of his hands is scrunched on the lapels of my biker jacket, lifting me a foot off the ground. 
His other hand presses the blade to my jugular.
There’s a fair bit of flesh on my bones. It takes the strength of a mad man to hold me up above the ground with one hand. As long as he stays this mad I’m okay. If he gets sane all of a sudden and lets me go, I slide down the wall and the blade slides into my neck.
If he gets any crazier he’s just going to stick it in anyway.
I can feel it pricking my skin.
The Rastas aren’t pleased with all this. They’ve got businesses to run from the premises, and Babylon swarming all over asking questions they can do without. They’re leaping up and down, shouting at him to let me go, but they can’t pull him away ‘cos then I drop onto the blade. If they try to get the blade off him he’ll do it anyway.
I’m adrenalin calm. 
I know it’s nothing to him. 
He can kill me, or he can let me live. A dead white male on the floor of the Coach and Horses in Brixton on a Friday night ... well, the Boys are not going to be overwhelmed by witnesses are they. 
As with many things in life, it happened when I least expected it. I’d been shopping there a dozen times before, and like I say, I know the guy. With deals like these it helps to have your own Man. Saves you getting hassled by everyone else.
As I walked into the pub I caught his eye, sitting over by the juke box as usual. An exchange of glances and head straight for the Gents.
“Arright mate?”
“Yeh, harsit goin’?”
“Good, y’know.”
“Watcha wan’? Black ‘ash?”
“Nah. I want some ‘erb, if you got some.”
“Yeh I got some. How much?”
“Nah man, gonna cost you ten for draw. S’good bush, y’know, s’ Sensi, y’know.”
“Oh come on, if it was real Sensi you wouldn’t be selling it to me for ten.”
“Well, s’good, y’know, right?”
Then three guys walk in. They must’ve seen me walk in and they’re after my business.
I’m not interested in them.
“Hey man, watcha wan’? Ya don’ wan’ ‘is gear man, it’s crap. Look, I’ve got good ‘ash, see. Red Seal, see.”
“I don’t want Red Seal.”
That was my mistake. 
I should have just ignored them. Now my Man thinks he’s about to lose his deal, and while it probably isn’t worth that much to him, there’s ethics. Yes, even in dirty toilets on cold wet Brixton nights there’s ethics, and these other guys are out of order.
“Hey, wassyar problem man? See, I deal with the man, see! He come to me befah, y’know?”
“So you say I can’ sell no ‘ash in me own backyar’?”
Then the third guy takes hold of my hand, opens it out and squashes something into it, closing my fingers around it. It’s an old trick. You got it so now pay for it. No way I’d ever buy like that, not without seeing and smelling first. That’s the way to end up with licorice or oregano. 
Now things were getting a little out of control.
My Man sees me with the other guy’s gear and reckons I’ve done the dirty on him.
He flips. Shouting and screaming he grabs me and pushes me up against the wall, fast and strong.
The others are laughing, but then he pulls the blade, and they start to jump up and down, yelling and screaming at him.
He’s forcing the air out of his lungs through clenched spitty teeth, using all of his strength to hold me up against the wall.
I’m aware of his mates trying to get him off me. I’m aware that my wallet is being passed around out there somewhere, but that doesn’t worry me in the least.
The real game is between me and him.
We breathe hard on each other, his eyes on mine.
His sweat and heat on my sweat and heat.
I know it’s nothing to him.
He can kill me, or he can let me live.
Interesting feeling.

© Charlie Adley 

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