Three Sides

This is the only big thing I have written in recent months. It is weird and post modern ish but I like it all the same

—————

Author’s Note.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

The Novel

In my mind, the landscape was black and white, like a gritty old film noir. The air crackled like super 8 film, but I was sure that was just the blood and adrenaline pounding through my head, rather than my grip on reality slipping. If the cigarette burns and the punched black of the soundtrack reel appear in my vision I should start to worry.

Even if the world was not in noir, the red on my hands stood out clearly enough. I should have worn gloves I think to myself, amidst the swarm of ideas floating around my head.

She was dead, Nicky was dead. As I ran through the dark city, hiding from the streetlights club lights and car lights, tears ran down my eyes blurring my vision as I stumbled through the night. These were not tears of sadness. Running down an alleyway, I tripped and fell on my face, giggling with glee.

She was gone, only girl who ever showed any interest in me. I wanted to push the boundaries. He wanted to show me that we are capable of anything, that we can achieve something amazing. I crossed a boundary, good reader; I killed. I am one of a select few. I am my own godhead, my own champion of morality, accountable to me and me alone. There exists no God, only Man.

Choice was sat at the table when I burst through the door, and was rather surprised when the bloody knife hit the kitchen table. Blood stained the tablecloth and scarlet scabs of congealed blood littered the knife. Never going to get this shit off the table I thought to myself.

Choice grinned at me.

I just stood there, staring at him, then back to the blade, and finally back at Choice, whose eyes were constantly changing colour. In the normal run of things, he chose to wear expensive sunglasses to cover this condition, but in the privacy of friends he tended not to. Fickle man that he was.

“Darling, what the hell is that?” knowing full well what it was, “would you like to explain to me why there is a bloody kitchen knife on my table?”

“YOU gave it to me, Choice” I screamed back.

“No dear, I gave you a kitchen knife. YOU are the one who has returned, with MY knife, which is now covered it in blood”

“I don’t care, I’ll wash it off later. You were right, though. I am capable of anything.”

“How does it feel?” he purrs at me with that voice as smooth as honey.

“How does it feel?” I reply, thinking of a way to convey the crowd of emotions that are flowing through me at that point in time, “I feel alive, Choice. You have shown me something beautiful.”

“Good boy,” he says, staring at me with pride.

Character’s Note.

He wrote a novel about me, his second, released to critical acclaim. Everything that happened in the book was a fraud. For months, years after its release, my actions were the subject of essays and talk. They called me immoral but in fact the burden never lay on me, or any of the other characters of the book. The writer was trying to make a point and in doing so, I was seen and made to do things I hated. He made me do those things. He made me speak in ways I would never speak. Like everybody else in the novel, I was playing a role. I am Character. Ever have the feeling you are not in control of your life? I know it all too well.

This is how I became the man who did nothing as the world around him fell apart. This is how by the end of the novel, I was an emaciated man with no prospects and no morals, save for my own ‘empowerment’. This is how I became the man who murdered the girl who loved him, all set up by a manifestation of choice, a symbol of a belief. This is how I escaped redemption, even in my own crushing guilt.

Somebody needs to know what actually happened during the making of that novel. I am a damned creature, immune from dying, unable to pass on my genes. The only things I can pass on are my ideas, my memes. There are three sides to this story: his side, my side and the truth. Hopefully the latter two are the same.

I remember walking into that audition room, though it looked more like a fitting room. He was at university at the time, and I think he was drunk. He sat there with a notepad, doodling away, seemingly oblivious to my presence. My plain white skin was suddenly Caucasian, my hair blonde. In a mirror I looked and saw that my eyes were blue. I looked at my beauty in a mirror, no longer a plain white mannequin, no longer Character. I was whoever he wanted me to be. I thanked him. It was he who gave me a name. He gave me everything. I reached out to him but he never reached back. I looked at him and just wanted to be loved. Soon those blue eyes he gave me would be tainted by red that made me look like a stoner or somebody who had not slept in several days. He kept me up, placed me in front of a computer screen for days on end without rest. Each time I tried to sleep, I would wake up. He told me this was my role.

For months I stayed there on my own, and nobody joined me. I passed the time by talking to myself. What started as an inner monologue turned into a soliloquy and each night I delivered my thoughts to the empty audience. When you are alone, words can be warming friends. Eventually he remembered me, opened the page and gave me somebody else to talk to, as Adam had been given Eve. You remember her as Nicky, but originally her name was Hazel. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. For hours we talked and did little else. I stared into her eyes, back when they were a shade of brown. But one day, everything changed. We fell asleep in each other’s arms, and in the morning she had no idea who I was. It was then that she became Nicky. She had no idea who I was, he had rewritten her. She was now a different person, but she loved me unconditionally. That was her role.

Nicky was the girlfriend I had to pretend not to care about, the girl I could show neither kindness nor warmth to. She was the girl who would hopelessly vie for my affections, who I could not turn to. God knows I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to tell her I loved her but the words never came. My mouth opened, but nothing ever came out. The only words that came out where not mine. The way I am written in the book is not the way I talk. The style was too fancy. Nobody speaks in the clichés that I was made to speak in. I spoke with a voice thick and gravelly from cigarettes and whiskey. He wrote a first person narrative voice and attributed it to me, but these are words I never would have said, some I did not even understand.

From time to time he would sit down with me, ask me what I would do in a situation. It felt like an awkward first date, with sparse conversation. I told him I wanted to love her, that I wanted to be with her, but he told me I could not. Our lack of affection was key to the message of the novel. I returned to my home, powerless. On my kitchen table was a box covered in wrapping paper. He had given me the knife, and with it was a note. It told me I knew what to do. In the novel, this was attributed to Choice, the allegorical figure who spoke in riddles, who wanted me to show me the boundaries of what I was capable of. In reality, it was the writer that gave me the knife. And it was he that really killed her, not I.

I tried to wash her blood off my hands, but it never came off. I tried to convince myself that it was not my fault, that I was coerced and forced into it, but at the end of the day, it was me who drove the knife into her chest over and over again. He said I cried tears of joy, that I revelled in the moment, but those tears were not of joy. Afterwards, I tried to hang myself, but the rope never held. I would throw myself off a building, but the ground turned to rubber beneath me and I gently sunk in, safe. This was a maze I was trapped in.

Eventually they made a film about us. Suddenly I was not the character. The studio ignored the writer’s description of me, and suddenly people envisioned me the way the goodlooking young actor who played me looked. Full of despair, as he looked at the camera with a thousand yard stare, and spoke his lines with such melodrama. They changed the ending; he did not kill Nicky. Before the credits rolled, they drove off together into the sunset with the promise of a life together, one that I would never know, one I have dreamt of.

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