I’m watching a band play. A woman band leader talks me through the other band members. An elderly lady saxophonist. Young men, some of them immigrants, with day jobs in construction. They play inside a large tent, a version of “Hard Days Night” that starts off differently to the original. At the chorus, the crowd join in, at deafening volume.
As they finish and pack up, I talk to the band leader again. They’re thinking of packing it all in. They aren’t making enough money. I tell them about friends who teach music for a living, but still sometimes need a day job. We walk along a pavement. The space above us getting smaller. I crawl around a corner, and heave off the restricting roof above me. I stand up. The roof is shelving. I apologise to a dozing black cat I’ve disturbed.
I’m looking at my phone. In trying to decide whether to jail break it, as a way to analyse it’s cryptography. I read a paper tutorial. I decide not to, it’s my work phone.
I’m selling cases that stop space time from warping your data. Essential for a quantum computing device. A guy cannot decide. I tell his wife that he needs it.
I leave work and walk home. I want to be making beats. I tap drumsticks on my legs as I walk. I cut through a housing estate, a guy sits at his window. I’m glad I didn’t go for food with the people from work. I couldn’t afford it.
I reach the entrance to Dartmoor national park. It’s very muddy, and I slip and slide along, using my giant drumsticks like crutches. I pass the guard at the gate, and try to clean my muddy trainers in a puddle. They get dirty again straight away. My drumsticks become mops, and I mop myself along the wet, muddy, path. I pass two old gentlemen. One has seen my behaviour before, from a young girl first, then a group of private schoolboys, moving themselves along, locomotion, by mopping out the serial nature of reality as it appears ahead of them.
The infinite game. I’m playing with a team, assaulting the guarded house of one of the 1%. I point out to my teammates, that by the time we arrive, he’ll have stocked up supplies, and built defences. He’ll be gambling on us not being organised enough to destroy his defences within the time limit of the game. On our transport, Robin Williams sits next to a black Frank Sinatra, who carries a bag for me. Evangelical Christians walk up and down the bus, collecting money for the newly discovers miracle of South African weight loss, which is that Jesus makes you lighter if you weigh yourself in the morning.
In my pocket, I find money from a friends wife. I hide it. I don’t think that she’d want me to donate to the crazy church.
At our destination, black Frank goes a little crazy. I talk to him, as a thin, dismembered arm, falls past us. We are at the factory complex owned by our target. I chat to the daughter of one of my team. Then try to contact the target. It’ll never work, and never does, every time I’ve played the game. We begin to organise our attack. There’s a car race to navigate. I meet C. She’s a devout evangelical Christian, just as she is in real life, we are to be married. I’m worried about religious incompatibility. We hang out together. It’s fun. I’m with her and her sister. She changes. Becomes younger, and blond. Her sister becomes a Spanish dictator. I kiss her, and we fall in love. We sleep in a Mexican villa. We hear gunshots, and sounds of people trying to break in. We’re relived for a break in the monotony.
We eat a meal with others. Stacks of steamed vegetables. I’m not hungry. C’s head is a triple eyed pumpkin. The man next to me reaches over, and scrapes her face of with a fork. Inside, her head is full of more vegetables. Her face looks surprised as he eats it.
I dig my fork into his face, in retaliation. I drag away the skin around his right eye, and his eyeball. He doesn’t appear to be in pain. I add the flesh to my plate. He attacks me with a knife. I hold him in a choke hold. He is now Japanese. I explain to him that he always dies at this point, it’s part of the game’s story line. We struggle, but eventually he fades and dies. Like every time.
I’m in Seabrook Road, Newton Heath. A car is wedged at the top of a hill. I try to decide if a housewife could kill and dismember the driver, and then dispose of the body. I decide that she couldn’t. It’s an idea too far, from a writers perspective.
I look out of the front room bay window. Across the road, neighbours argue in West Midlands accents. The view is not how I remember it. No dusty, nicotine stained net curtains cover the glass. Upstairs, in my parents bedroom, I butter toast on the bed, trying to remember siblings who died in a fire here. There’s the click and twist if a key in the door. A man called Adam, who lives with my mother. He dislikes me on sight, thinks I am my father. We argue. I encourage him to read, he’d rather kick a ball about outside. I hate sports, but join him anyway, to foster some goodwill. We kick a ball about in the street, running between wheelie bins.
I’m cycling. I’m on a low tricycle. It’s B&W footage. I give the camera the finger as I comically pedal into the darkness of the canal towpath. There are other shots, but no context, no storyline. That will come later. It depends on who the editor is, and what other shots of their own they add.
I see my story in a newspaper. It’s a feel good, heart warming, Christmas story of triumph over adversity. I’m not sure how I feel about my complex existence being simplified for mass consumption.
I am interviewed. I wear a comical gold barrister’s wig. On top of that, I try various amusing hats. The interviewer and the audience love that. I flick through a magazine. Animated images play as I look at them, and answer questions I ask. A black square is a ninja in a dark room. I tell the people I’m with how this technology could be supplemented with raised Braille text, to let visually impaired people read magazines. We cycle off down the road. I’m enjoying the exercise. I tell the others that I’ll meet them back at the house. I want to go further. They follow me. They’re having fun too.
I sit in a street. Across the road, fog, at the end of the road, rain. I ask Adam how this can be.
I’m a child. I think my sister has been replaced by an alien. My dad thinks I’m crazy. I see lights in the sky. He goes to investigate, and never returns. I’m alone at home, wondering what has happened to my family. I’m tired, and want to sleep, but there’s much to be done if I am to find them again. I wake up in a flooded bus station. I swim to the dry entrance. A small, plastic, fish shaped radio plays my repeated appeal for information about my family, and the aliens. I realise the fish, now organic, is my mother.
I’m part of a terrorist cell. We live, with many others, in a colony below ground. As we return to our base, descending in a rectangular concrete stairwell, I see we are being followed. I grab a machine gun from a rack on the wall, and fire at the man following us. He wears a blue uniform, a long, blue, woollen trench coat. We retreat into one of the levels, and he follows us. There’s a firefight. I aim at his unprotected head, and fire bursts in full automatic mode. He retaliates in the same way. His bullets are like a rain of needles, they don’t hurt me, but give me a tingling sensation, like pins and needles all over.
My head shots win. He lays down on the floor. I’m out of ammo. I beat him unconscious with my gun. I pick up a plastic toy cutlass from the floor, and behead him. His head is now made of cake, and looks like the old Turks Head sign.
We re-arm and head straight back up. We are followed by a well meaning, but dim, volunteer. I wait for him near the surface. I explain the dangers and offer him a gun. He’s disguised as a tin mine manager, he jokes how out of place he will look living next door to us. I tell him that moving is the first thing he will do. We can’t be associated with him.
He’s worried about the gun. I exchange it for a machine gun hidden in a device the size of a credit card. The trigger is a tiny roll of paper, and it only fires a single burst.
I leave the idiot and follow my colleagues into the city. It is beautiful. Great architecture and fashion, beautiful Asian women shopping. We meet at a low table in a shopping mall. Our representatives in the surface want someone to join their committee to represent us. Typically, they first considered one of their own, already blessed to live in the paradise on the surface. I think A should be given the position, as he has fought hard for the cause. I tell the committee that I recognise no one as having control over me, either above or below ground. They are shocked, but change the subject.
A long bike. At least six people are behind me. I steer us downhill, to a roundabout. The brakes barely work, and we take the corner at high speed. On the hill, a market and fair. I wander stalls. I buy a grey suit, a white suit, and some matching shoes. I leave the market at the top of the hill, then realise I’ve not tried my suits on. I head back down, into a stall run by a transvestite. He regularly lets me use his changing room. Big mirrors. The suits look great. I try on a weird Victorian chastity belt, it’s cumbersome and uncomfortable. I take it off. I chat with the transvestite, now dressed as a man, in his front room. His landlord charges him PRS rates for every lead synth sound he uses. He’s being ripped off. He does a great impression of someone playing the recorder, and harmonica.
We leave. Outside, I help my sister in law sort the recycling. A man from Siberia shows us how. My brother drives me home, through the rain, on a vehicle that is just a platform and lights.