Results 1 to 1 of 1

Thread: Amnos

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Post Amnos

    In the shower I try to remember the last time that I’ve truly felt like myself, as hot water droplets sear my skin and white steam suffocates my every inhale of breath. I turn the shower nozzle further into the red, and I try to smile as the water gets hotter still. But all I can think about is last night; dark club interiors at the root of the city, one after the other, at Ava’s request. The shower’s steam does its best to cleanse my pores of the city’s filth, the ones that cling to your body long after its welcome. I breathe slowly, deeply. I need to get out of here.

    Ava, still lying in the bed, observes me as I dress. I decide not to turn on the light; I slip on my trousers and I find that there’s still tabs in the right leg pocket, in the left are the keys to the BMW e30 that waits for me in a garage twelve stories below Ava’s apartment.

    “I’m going for a ride.”
    “I want to come.”

    She sits rigidly now, the white duvet pulled taught and into her body in the dark. Her face is pointed toward me, eyes unintelligible. The car keys are balled tightly in my fist. The city churns out guttural noises that pass through the window and fill the air between us as she waits for a response.

    “Come or not, but I’m taking another tab before I go.”
    “Jason… You’re supposed to be trying to get clean with me.”
    “It helps.”

    Ava slides out of the bed and my mind stirs. Her features are still indefinable in the gloom of her bedroom but I fill in the blanks as she moves towards me; a crystallised memory of her face from when we first met. She presses the memory into my chest and it feels rejuvenating. The half-open curtains partially bathe our bodies in neon-green light from a billboard outside the window.

    “Well I’ll take one with you then. And we’ll go together.”
    “You hate it outside the city.”
    “Jason I... I don’t say something unless I mean it.”
    “I know, so do I.”
    “You once said I was the best thing to ever happen to you.”

    I remove her head from my chest. You are, but that won’t stop me leaving.

    Heads down as we squirm southbound, the taste of acid on my tongue. Ava driving. Breathe, I think, breathe slow, breathe deep. The city lights have given way, decaying into matte-black concrete. I’ve been feeling nauseous since we merged onto the highway. Ava bought me a baseball cap from a transient selling trinkets at the last fill-up. It reads ‘Lucky 8’ and has got a picture of one of those fortune-telling balls you shake on it. Ava says I need it so I don’t burn in the sun, but what she really means is she’s scared someone will notice that we’re on tabs. My ears ring as if someone is playing the Glockenspiel in time with the revs of the sunburnt e30. I see a coronation of withering blue flowers to mark a child’s grave on the roadside as we whirr past. A boy with freckles and white hair pressing himself against the window of a dark sedan with, as if he was trying to escape by passing through the metal exterior. Sun rings off the orange bonnet as time passes. I lift my head up and the concrete has given way too, sinking into earth beneath. Finally, we’re out of the rot.

    Mud tracks now. Brilliant white sky. I feel alive.

    Ava says she needs to stop so she does. She’s wheezing as she exits the car and spews clear vomit onto the dry earth. I try to watch through the wing mirror but its sullied by bird ****. After she stops heaving the silence is sharp. I study her, bent double, her head is sunk between her legs and its vibrating.

    “I didn’t mean to do that.”
    “What, be sick?”
    “No... I got some on the car.”

    She’s up now, and her eyes are running slightly, her face grey and green. Her feet look like they’re going to give way as she takes furtive steps in the dirt, breathing hard. She looks like she can barely handle it anymore. Her throat gargles as she dry heaves for a final time, expelling chunky residue onto the ground.

    “Breathe slow, breathe deep.”

    I lean out of the window, turning to look at Ava as I say it but afterwards I notice that I barely convinced myself. I shift over to turn the engine on and it seems to excrete something within its bowels before its ready to get moving again. She gets back in the car, the passenger side this time. It had remained unspoken, but it’s evident that she was, by now, sick of the road. Thick motorways that had chewed at her ceaselessly for the past however many hours, and now uneven tracks plague the e30’s suspension. The label of my new cap claws at my ears as I move into first gear. I take it off and hang it off the gearstick and the ‘8’ ball looks up at me. The sweat in my short, auburn hair is thick and viscous like crude oil, and it runs into my eyes.

    A while later. I take my eyes away from the road to glance at Ava. Cheeks moistened with sweat. Dark hair matted to the skin it touches. Vacuous eyes. Her hand is gripping her thigh like a boy racer on his gearstick. I turn back and the car has behaved in my absence, running parallel to the rushes and wild grass that engulf us on each side. With the sun visor open, I study my own eyes for a while in the glow of a purple sunset. I’m Superman.

    I see it late. A small animal sat in the dirt, not ten feet from the onrushing vehicle. Its fur is snowy white, beautifully composed, the sinews of its muscles look taught and rigid. Its eyes are distant, unafraid. It’s beautiful. I wrench the wheel left as fast as my reactions allow, but I hear a sickening thud as I do so. I hit it. The car bounces into the long grass, veering in conflict with the ground, suddenly stirring up saturated soil. Blades lash the windows. Ava is looking at me now, but there is an icy void in her pupils. ****, I hit it.

    “Did you see it. AVA, did you see it?!”

    The car jerks to a stop, kicking up earth in a final splutter before I cut the engine. Ava’s thigh is released from her grip and spasms like an animal struggling out of a trap. The pale skin beneath the line of her shorts is trickling red. Her brain is hyper-functioning, and her body is unable to keep up as she chokes on words.

    “In the middle of the... of the ****ing road Ava...**** I think I hit it…”

    But she’s gone as she stiffens her head flat against the headrest, set in stone in the seat, her eyes locked into space. I glance at the dashboard and red warning lights are eating away at it. I straighten up, my hollow eyes seeing ghosts in the sun visor. What have I done?

    Opening the car door, I breathe hot air for a moment before stepping out into the undergrowth, dry boots sinking into the soggy earth as I start to slink through the monolithic long-grass, tracking the route the car had taken into the field. Bright dust particles glow mauve in the air, slowly vibrating upward towards bruised clouds. As I press on, they permeate my body, sit inside my stomach, and I feel nauseous. The sunset has deepened into a heliotropic dreamscape, as the flora cranes and inches towards the final drops of sunlight. Looking back I already can’t see anything but towering grass in every direction and the dust, now thick spores vibrating in the air. The path created by the e30 cuts through the brush like a vein, and I’ve already taken enough turns to lose sight of the car, of Ava. I press on further still.

    The flattened grass that parts a green sea ends ahead, widening into a hollowed out crater carved out of the earth where the dirt track once was, flat-packed soil cascading upward around it on every side. Moonlight clarifies its vast parameters with opulent light that spills down the lip and into a canyon of bedrock. I stand motionless at the mouth. Charged air hisses electric signals in my ear.

    “Breathe slow. Breathe deep.”

    A figure on all fours in the basin’s epicentre, barely distinguishable, dancing; a dark, balletic form cutting pearl-white air in each cyclical rotation. I press inward, into the light. The figure pauses in its routine, a flawless iridescent image. She’s seen me.

    “Why weren’t you afraid?”

    Futile words. A second later and I’m not even sure I said them. The figure starts again, faster this time, contorting her translucent frame into a myriad of shapes and kaleidoscopic light. As I approach, static attacks at every inhale of my rasping breath, cutting the root of my throat. The hum of large machines from the city. The taste of aluminium and ash. I flex my right hand and curl it into a fist and feel cold metal digging into my palm.

    Ava now; she’s stood over me, shimmering, phosphorescent. Beautiful. The features of her face shine in the moonlight, bathed and preserved in opaline crystal. Her eyes emit radiant light and it suffocates me and I can’t breathe at all, my heart pounding in between my ears like the stroke of drums reverberating in a cavernous hall. Time is still.

    “You know what to do.”

    As her mouth sounds out words into the dead air, Ava’s image changes; her cheeks bloom in dark spots that expand like inkblots on a blank page, her eyes start bleeding white tears as thick as tar, and I follow them as they ooze down her face into a slick on the basin floor, where they coalesce beneath us. I feel sick at the sight of it, like I did when we merged on the motorway. Her face is bleeding and she screws it away from mine as she melts away in the moonlight. Cold air runs down my throat. Choking in the pale light. Bile rising. I close my eyes.

    All that’s left is what’s at my feet as I stand in the centre of the dirt track. A lamb, eyes wide and searching, spurting hot blood onto its fleece, struggling on its side. You know what to do. I kneel and nurse its head on my leg, but I can see the life pulling away from it. I choke on my words:

    “I’m so… sorry”

    The lamb cries out in unison with my own sobs. Tears run down my cheek as I grasp its head firmly between my hands, twisting the skull sideways and breaking its neck. The legs of the dead creature spasm in the dirt.


    Ava woke up in the e30’s black passenger seat, eyes swimming in her sockets. As she waited for them to focus, she noticed that Jason was absent from the seat beside her. A sharp memory pierced through her mind, tangible only for a second before evaporating. He crashed. He left me. He’s an animal. As she lifted herself out of the car, blood trickled down her thigh and onto a bed of grass below. She intended to go into the moonlit undergrowth to search for Jason so she could tell him that it was over; that he was running from his life by boosting old cars and taking tabs, that she wanted, desperately, to be a mother again, that she was moving forward and he was stuck inside something horrible... but something about the still air kept her from doing so. For a while she leant against the bonnet of the e30, watching the moon rise in between rapturous clouds, smoking Camel cigarettes that she had found in the passenger side door. There was no noise at all, save the hiss of car smoke as it percolated above its bonnet, the sizzle of ash on soil and the occasional squelch of the butt being pressed into the earth. He’ll come back. If not for me, then for the car.

    She heard something first, a sharp, guttural whine that pierced the muddy air. Her throat tightened. What was Jason doing? Still smoking, she observed his moonlit shape as he approached; his white fleece stained red, frozen eyes. He straightened up as he stopped at a distance from her. Their eyes found each other.

    “Where were you?”
    “I had to... we hit something. It was in the road.”
    “What was it?”
    “Doesn’t matter... its dead.”

    Jason moved closer to Ava, reaching out a blood-splattered arm. Her mind stirred as he pressed his hand into hers. It was warm.

    “I don’t like it here, let’s go back.”
    “To the city?”
    “Where else.”
    “The car...”, Ava gestured to the wisps of smoke seeping from the bonnet of the e30.
    “We could walk for a while, try and get a ride back with someone.”

    The pair started, hand in hand, through the undergrowth and toward its exit.

    “I love you, you know.”

    Ava smiled as moonlight danced between them in the midnight air.

    This is a late draft of something I've been working on and playing around with in terms of perspective, tense, motivation etc.

    The original idea of the story is that the collision with the lamb, along with the help of acid, takes Jason on a transitive experience, by the end of which he finds himself closer with both notions about himself and also his relationship with Ava.

    Last edited by aotaylor97; 08-09-2019 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Story itself didnt post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts