aqua fortis

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Flickr Fiction: Keep Off The Grass

Everything is drab in daylight: sandy-dusty-dormant-ashen, old-folks-having-tea-front-of-the-wireless, please-keep-off-the-grass, no-smoking-in-public-places drab. He really shouldn't be driving when he feels like this. He knows it. It was a late night, a horrible night. Actually it was a wonderful night, but his head is pounding and so it feels like it must have been horrible.

But it wasn't, because there was this girl.

Must have been six feet tall, if it wasn't the constant pints of lager addling his already sodden brain. Six feet tall and blonde like a Swedish bikini model. And that dress with the deliberate holes, there and there, just so; yes, she was just so...something. Something like in a song. One of those ooh-baby, let-me-get-you-in-the-back-of-my-car songs.

Jeremy swerves; narrowly misses a street sign and runs a red light. He was driving on the wrong side of the road again. He really shouldn't be driving, doesn't have an international license or anything, but Harvey is passed out in the back seat again. Where are they going? He doesn't actually know. They are somewhere in the middle of London, rapidly proceeding outward on some southbound road into the suburbs. The police, the fuzz, the bobbies, the coppers, the pigs; they got left behind at the scene of destruction.

It was the flat of a friend of the Swedish bikini girl. Or, more exactly, the Swedish bikini girl was a friend of the girl who lived in the flat; all the girls who rented the place were students at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Swedish bikini girl was, like them, studying film studies or some other girly thing that snotty rich girls did who had money to pay for art school but no talent.

Yeah, you should be in film, he said to her last night, envisioning her in an even smaller dress with even higher heels and even thong-ier underwear, quite a feat of the imagination.

It was a few minutes later that the shit hit the fan, or the shite, as Harvey would no doubt put it. Somebody had spiked the punch, of course, because somebody always did, but not always with liquid LSD droppered in on the sly when everyone was busy watching the terrible band abuse their doublenecked guitars. Harvey chuckles to himself, nearly sideswiping an old couple out for a scenic stroll, the old man extending two fingers in a V symbol that always makes him feel like he's being flipped off with a peace sign.

Yeah, by the time the cops came it was five in the morning and some people were lying on the floor counting ceiling tiles, some were vomiting in the potted plants, and some were just...staring. The Swedish bikini model, now there was a sad story. They'd been on the verge of getting their clothes off when the drugs hit her, after she consumed plastic cup after plastic cup of punch. All she could do was stare at her hands and giggle. And then she'd stare at his hands and giggle. "Your hands are hairy," she'd say, and scream with laughter, falling backward on the bed. Then this scene repeated itself about four times before Jeremy gave up and left the room. Shortly afterward the police sirens started wailing and everyone who wasn't too messed up to move scattered to the four winds. That included Jeremy, who grabbed Harvey and half-dragged him to the car two blocks away.

There was a moral to this story, Jeremy thought to himself. There really was.

Thank God I stuck to lager.

This week's piece was inspired by this photo by Flickr user Pablo Gavilan. I have no idea why I wrote yet another story involving a bad drug scene. It really wasn't deliberate. It just sort of happened. Anyway, check for more Flickr Fiction on the sites of The Gurrier, Tea and Cakes, Elimare, Chris, Mina, TadMack, and Linus



TadMack said...

There is that whole "flipped off with a peace sign" thing -- I cannot imagine that sweet old man doing anything so ...uncultured.

DaviMack said...

Truly something to be said for closed, personal containers at their type of party.

I like how you've captured the bubble of experience - the depth to which you're really isolated from the world, as it spins by, and insulated even from the other members of the party. It's like there's cotton wool between everyone - between even the character and his own emotions.

Chris Cope said...

Yet another reason why I only drink beer. I think it's interesting that both you and Elisa had figures who were escaping from authority figures. I woner what it is about that picture that inspired that.

Donal said...

I wish I got invited to parties like that. LSD and double necked guitars. Nice piece Sarah

Tadamck, "I cannot imagine that sweet old man doing anything so uncultured" - I think that picture as taken in Newcastle-On-Tyne, old people there greet each other with headbutts.

Isobel said...

Great deatils of the party and the experiences there. I love how he was all set for more with the swedish girl and the description of how she started behaving - and how long it took for him to give up on her.

a. fortis said...

Ha ha, thanks, guys.

Being totally unfamiliar with Newcastle except for a brief stop in the train station and the lyrics to "Synchronicity II" ("Another industrial early morning/Factory belches filth into the sky" etc.), I had to relocate the setting to London. And then I just really had to put the doublenecked guitar in there as soon as it crossed my mind. It had to be.