The Deathtrap

A wood panelled room.

It is a test.

As I walk across it layered holes twist and open in the floor. They are unpredictable. I make it across by leaping and jumping unpredictably. I then do it again, guiding a friend. He wants to just copy me, but that is fatal, he must find his own path.

At the far side of the room, a line of women secret agents stand proudly, having passed the test. Their leader and I volunteer to take the test again.

This time, the walls are greased, and grinders are in the holes. They can kill.

I get most of the way across, but then I slip into a predictable rhythm. The dynamics of the room change. Every action takes you in the opposite direction. I hear a scream as someone’s hand is trapped and severed by a grinder.

I realise that I must survive to seek revenge on those controlling this death trap.



Counting Dogs, Burning Bridges

I’m dreaming. I’m in a house. Under the stairs things are stored. It’s messy. I pull out a long blue hosepipe. I walk to the kitchen and head outside into the rain my hair, and water obscure my vision.

I can hear the chimes of an ice cream van, someone is optimistic. I walk towards the sound it’s hard to see, I’m naked in the rain.

I realise I’m naked, and turn round to go home. A police car stops me. As we talk a half-man satyr and his naked female trainer run past. I argue with the cops “that’s okay, this isn’t?”.

I’m back inside. There’s a comedy performance. First up is a man writing complex maths on a huge blackboard. He says, “If you don’t understand maths, or need a device to do simple calculations, I pity you”.

I’m trying to calculate the solution as he writes. I decide to take a guess if he asks the audience, trusting to chance.

There’s food. We take a break. I eat a huge German sausage, aware that Steve will make a Freudian joke about it. Everyone else is vegetarian. They don’t seem to have a sense of humour.

We return to our seats. Two trained dogs tap out what they think the answer is. The one near me is right. I fuss him and congratulate him. I want to fuss his brother too, but the calculating dog demands all my attention.

I think their trainer is up to no good. I flee the house, leaving behind my coat and wallet. As I walk I meet a couple walking dogs. They met through the people whose house I was just at, they advise me to ask them to match me up.

I return to the house. It is gone. Replaced by a german cast iron bridge, topped with stone, the metal still burning from the transformation. I prise open the stones, and squeeze inside. A couple of old men talk about how people don’t like the fairy tale disappearing house thing any more. I see myself. I’m off to a rave, with a bottle of whiskey. I’ve never grown up and settled down.

The Tower

I’m in the tower room of a cathedral. It’s very grand. It feels like home. I don’t feel real. Jon is there too. We are in some kind of open polyamorous relationship.

We are having a quiet night in. Friends drop by. They eat all our food and make a mess. I’m pissed off. I just want some peace and quiet. Jon appears to live with me but be married to Julie. I don’t remember saying it was ok for him to move in.

I’m alone in the tower. I feel energised. I float outside. I appear to be invisible, I land and walk around. Some people can see me, I think. I’m just wearing a long black t-shirt. It is wet from the constant drizzle and looks like a dress.

At a bus stop is an attractive woman about my age, 47, dressed in a belly dance costume. I tell her how great she looks. She’s very happy.

Characters keep checking in on me, as I progress through a symbolic journey of death and rebirth. An old man gives me a magic seed. He apologises for being late. It’s the first time he’s played this role. I tell him it’s the first time I’ve symbolically been reborn.

I fear death and the darkness on the road ahead. As I travel along, the sky begins to clear. It’s a new dawn.

Back at the tower, I can see it’s occupied by someone else. This makes me sad. I need to return there. I fly inside. It is full of people from my journey. They discuss me. They plotted my journey of rebirth. I don’t know what’s real anymore. I’m paranoid.

I have a wife. She’s short, plump and dark. She understands me. I hug her.

Outside, people read aloud the inscriptions on statues.

There’s a written test. I write down examples of people using supernatural strength due to adrenalin to overcome danger to their loved ones.

I want to live in peace, in the cathedral tower.


Beautiful Cosmos

I am using my Celestron telescope. It has three settings, stars, constellations,and deep space.

On constellations it’s like I’m looking at the sky painted on a domed ceiling. On stars, I can see more detail, but it still looks two dimensional.

On deep space, I’m amazed. I see meteors whizz past, feel the cold of deep space, see ice crystals form patterns in the sky. It is a beautiful universe.

I drift among scaffolding that clings onto repeating towers in the sky. I stand atop a vertical girder. It raises me higher into the sky. For a moment, I am afraid.

Vertigo and fear paralyse me.

Then I remember where I am. I step into space and drift back up, above the lattice of girders, beyond the network of man made structures, back into the infinite cosmos.


The New Oldham Game

I am visiting Oldham. It has changed beyond recognition. Steampunks on stilts and many street performers, tourists wandering into the path of oncoming vehicles.

I fall in with a group of lads. I follow them to a house. Someone inside is presenting a QVC channel type show about counselling. I feel like I’m intruding and leave.

I’m trying to find a bus stop to Manchester. The numbers have all changed. Drunk painter and decorators, in white dungarees dance in a circle at a road junction. A living, drunk roundabout.

I’m playing a computer game. I’m defeating a scientist who’s trying to inject me with something. It tells me I have the hugest score ever.

I replay the level with my feet. I still win.

I’m wandering with Luke Skywalker, trying to find our way back into the game. We run up steps by a building illuminated with a giant crossword.

Geoffrey the Dog and the Russian Spies

Travelling in the boot of a car. More like a low, open trailer. I wonder who is driving? Are they safe?

I’m in a large white room. I’m playing bass. The strings are slack so playing it is easy. I tighten the strings, and find a bar near the nut that, when pressed, makes it sound like a 12 string guitar.

I see Ben outside. He comes in with lots of my friends. Russian spies read posters about plastication, and worry about spies in their own country. A teenager tells me she I’d going to study anthroposophy. I don’t want to tell her that Steiner was a racist.

She has a small, cute dog, called Geoffrey. He’s tired and grumpy, and unfriendly. He just wants everyone to fuck off so he can sleep.