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Sprawl 2

Sprawl 2

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Published by Luke Conlan
again, tips/criticism much appreciated.
again, tips/criticism much appreciated.

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Published by: Luke Conlan on Apr 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SPRAWL, ch. 2
Sean had always been impulsive. If there was something he wanted to do, then he had to do it thatinstant, and if he couldn’t do it instantly chances were it wouldn’t be done at all. He seamlesslytraversed from passion to frustration a couple of times a day. Sean had always been like this, butsince taking his job at The Martyr his impulsiveness had become even more intolerable. He wasmore susceptible to fanciful notions now than ever before, more likely to fall in love, more likely todevelop an intense dislike towards someone, more likely to get angry, bring joy, become enrapturedor frustrated.“What’s my fucking problem?” This was a stupid question that didn’t really need answering. Seanalready knew what his problems were; he just didn’t know how he had acquired so many.His neck and shoulder muscles had tightened and felt as though they had fused together overnight.His injured hand was now a darker shade of blue, more purple actually, and his cut eye wasprompting some questions from his colleagues. The pain didn’t really bother him though, nor thequestions. He could lie about his cuts and was relying heavily on a mix of nurofen and weed tonumb the pain.Sean couldn’t deny what had happened in the toilets of his office block the day previously though.The mess he had made tearing all of that velvet and smashing the cubicle door had been cleaned upovernight but his scratch marks and a torn fingernail were still visible on the surface of the greenMDF.That day passed more or less without incident. Sean was distracted from his work early in themorning, about half eight, when a female colleague had run out of the office in tears, but he neverfound out why. The pain in his hand, back, face and neck grew worse as the day progressed and hecouldn’t help but feel as though the bosses in The Martyr, the editors and the Editor in Chief, werevery pleased by this. He felt as though they could sense he was in pain, they were growing strongerfrom his pain, they were benefiting from his pain.The events of the previous day were obviously taking their toll on Sean’s body. He stood in front ofthe mirror in the office toilets and examined his cut face. Having come to the conclusion that the cutabove his eye didn’t need any immediate attention he lifted up his shirt to examine his swollenshoulders and neck. Dark purple bruising covered most of his upper body, across both shoulders,either side of his neck and down onto each arm. He was shocked, understandably, at the extent ofthe bruising. Despite almost ramming the cubicle door down with his shoulder, he couldn’t accountfor the damage to his neck or the marks in the centre of his back.It was hard to get a proper view of the bruising because his neck movement was limited. But Seandid notice a strange pattern of circular scratches reaching across his lower back and onto hisabdomen. He lifted his shirt and examined the marks in the mirror. Each was circular in shape andhad roughly the same circumference as the rim of a teacup. The circles looked as though they hadbeen scratched into his skin with a nail or the rasp of a fishing hook. There were seven of them.They were not sore to touch and almost imperceptibly smooth, as though they had always beenthere.Sean was quite sure that these marks hadn’t always been there. He fixed his shirt and tie in themirror and composed himself for a moment before returning to his desk. It was unseasonably warmfor February and Sean decided to walk home. Not because he was in the mood for a stroll butbecause he felt these symptoms, his waning physical and mental state, were due to him beingcooped up in an office all day. The fresh air, he reasoned, would do him good.By the time he reached home the temperature had dropped by degrees and Sean had been forced toput on his jacket and gloves after about fifteen minutes into his walk. This gloom, it seemed, wasnot one that fancied being left in the workspace. He went through the usual routine with his parents,asked about their day, ate dinner with them, washed up, made a cup of tea. He genuinely did lovethem, and this provided him with some comfort. Knowing that he was capable of love made himless conscious of his horrific bruises (he could feel his shirt growing tighter beneath his swollenupper-body) and the reality of a 40 hour week.The atmosphere was tense when Sean got home. Neither of his parents looked particularly happy to

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