Jackson Fife


Copyright © 2013 by Jackson Fife All rights reserved. copyright © Book design by Jackson Fife


that I would be staring at the woman I loved. breath heavy and teeth exposed like a silverback warning me to submit to the demand.OVERGROUND Chapter 1 One “You need treatment” barked Charlotte from behind her clenched fist. I was not the one who had just threatened to ‘”smash your fucking skull in!” holding high a heavy wooden African mask. smashed things up before. It didn’t hurt. punched me before. in fact I was pleased and could understand if she felt uncomfortably belligerent and ‘scared’. I sighed. she had punched me and thrown things at me before. who had again raised her fists to me and lashed out. not so much in acceptance as in apathy. the one who had bitten off more than I could chew.  It started as a child. all of her 2 . How was I to know what had set-in then would lead me here 35 years later. I was however. I was not the one with my fists ready for war.

I was in the right. This emptiness was defeat.OVERGROUND attacks felt like flies bouncing off my skin. 50 milligrams. the gentleman. more than ever before it left me empty. Her kisses were hollow and shallow. Sertraline. dumbstruck and righteous. I had been taken for a fool and that smarted. but instead I just stood there. like a bee accidentally flying into me on a summers’ day. I wanted to ask the angels to grab her and shake her for me. whisper wisdoms like the wind carries clouds to arid land and to hold my heat in her dreams and guild the stars to shine brighter for this time may be all time. once a day.  I stretched out on the grass and gazed at the pills the doctor had prescribed. They would help see me through the break-up if that is what was 3 . I was ‘the strong one’. felt the warmth or appreciated the comforts. She had never even heard the whispers. a gentle man. she was haunted like an overgrown alleyway I had once stumbled into and down as a child. or the emptiness of the shame and the relief. but my penchant for the basket case had caught me out again and this time. a different kind of empty to the disgust at her passing fury and aggression. to tell her to kiss me slow and deep.

she was earning a great deal more than me and I had been second in my life behind her. A swallow swooshed across and out of my eye-line and with the sun warming me I closed my eyes and enjoyed the orange glow I found in the comfort of my solitude.OVERGROUND happening and enable me to feel less emotional. The irony was not lost on my GP. Only. but on my insistence we were referred for relationship counselling and I matter–of-factly informed her that I could not guarantee Charlotte would calm down and agree to it. I knew I would try to salvage what reputation Charlotte had. I was free of her. I had engineered two jobs for her since she left University. tip-toeing through my own world in case the egg shells she left all over my life woke the banshee. fuck. it didn’t work out. Like the fear of a looming judgement day in front of the omnipotent I wrestled with my urges and dutifully bowed my head in awe of the life maker in front of my eyes. 4 .  The clouds above me broke the blue of the summer sky like the sadness bubbling up into my thoughts. but she was belligerent and headstrong and I could not give any indication of how the banshee within her would change as I had not seen it this malicious and vindictive before. to lie on my back in a field and watch as the beauty played out its divine dance.

collapsed in the Great Hall he wilted and wept out what energy he could muster. The occasional bursts of thirties big band swing that had danced through the air. the point where the power he was mustering and forcing through his tired body became enough to lift him from the cold hard parquet floor. this was a chance. shaking his thoughts from decline to decadence. His mind gasped for control and clarity. in the hope that something would come to his aid. Momentarily. hopping between strength and waste. The tape crackled and squealed intermittently like it was being chewed by the machine. focussed. The dust from the wooden floor mixing with his tears and sweat to coat the left side of his face. 5 . he might be afforded a chance. ended.OVERGROUND  His trance was excruciating. Drifting in and out of consciousness he was no longer sure what was real and what was forced upon him by his subconscious to keep him away from the uncomfortable truth. with an abrupt squeal and then click. he was clear. He must not let them see the strength he felt he may have. echoing from the walls of the building and the walls of his head. but this time it might be his last. If he could disguise his power long enough to push the weight from him. As he ascended to the event horizon. he was aware not to give too much away to the beasts that might be watching.

at first heavy until the spring from his shoulders and triceps engaged his balance and he flung himself up and around. asking 6 . dust gently cutting the smell receptors in his nose. He would have to move quickly once he began. to spring up and dart into a fierce and powerful stance awaiting the blows.  ‘Where has it gone?’ His mind frantically buzzed. the deep pink flock wall paper and guilt framed tall portraits of former inhabitants and noblemen. ‘Now !’ Each sinew cracked taut. anything that could have been pinning him down for so long. as if in judgement. forcing his eyes closed for their protection from the rancour and leaving him sure that to not see his own final breath being chased down and consumed was better. legs bent and his weight centred. arms up like a prize fighter. The room was empty. ducking and spinning. he hopped back scanning the room for any immediate threats. any thing that could have been the stinking mass with the heavy breath which had been for so long panting hot foul stench slowly into his ear and over the side of his face. the sunlight shone through the tall multi-pane windows onto the dark old wooden floor.OVERGROUND he could feel the energy returning to his face. sat in quiet repost. his head swung.

nothing to be attended to with such venom. the gap immediately and without question opened and he was out like a stow away arrived at port. was billowing gently and he could see a bright crack running the length of the frame. eyes wide. it was open. He spun from left to right. pulled hard. he could see the lush green hue of the Surrey fields outside. he forced himself to focus on the road. his euphoria dizzying him. after all. his breath and swift foot movements were the only noise. clasped his wiry fingers around the frame and without chancing another millisecond to take one more look at the place he had for so long been held captive. his steps 7 . jutting backwards. in the distance he could see the church steeple and the A3 rolling like a tear across the cheek bone of the greenbelt. His panting quickened anticipating an attack from behind. Swiftly and making as little noise as he could. Markus set his sights on this bright alley. he would not stop until he had reached the road.OVERGROUND for a reason he was so animated when there was. the room was warm with the afternoon sun and the wooden panelling and the extensive grounds surrounding deafened those inside to the world beyond. he flew to the door as if carried by some kinaesthetic tsunami. the light fabric which had been strung across the top to afford some privacy within. In the lower east corner was a tall glass paned French door. he ran.

struck him like a spear. His left leg spun through the revolution of the next step. his arms flailing. He could see the brook. the momentum carrying him onward. and then the hedgerow and the road embankment. a stumble towards his family. His head lifted once more. he was almost there. he hurtled. of the cars and their passengers. their gentle laughter. each step on the uneven ground a stumble towards the freedom of road. his exhausted body rolled on through the bowers until with the next step a loud snapping noise rung out. his weight 8 . through the copse. clinging to him like the hands of the weak and condemned pleading with him and making each step harder than the last. and his children Aloysius and Veronica. his wife Lorraine. and the white heat and nausea that only accompany a bone break. His steps sinking and squelching as the sodden mud sucked his feet back. of their swift help and deportment to the Police station where he could alert the authorities to the foul beasts that had held him captive.OVERGROUND thudding as he ran. down the incline of the garden. beyond lay the silage. his heart beats like steam pistons smashing at their housing as though on some out of control train. the smell of their hair. his big lungs burning with every breath as air scraped down his trachea like wire wool.

teasing his upper arm to recall a time when the sedentary nature of his adult life was less overbearing. Out of place. he pulled his stomach in and puffed out his chest. In that fearful moment. his leg buckled and his body bucked and jerked viciously with the pain and the jarring motion of a bone slicing through the flesh and nerve endings. “God honey…I’m getting fat! I can’t do these trousers up!” he 9 . He felt himself lurch violently and lose his place on the earth. Toppling as he screamed out with the agony. slightly too large around the midriff to fasten the waist band of the crisply pressed suit trousers he had chosen. He jammed the lolloping foot into the soil and like a tired horse at The Chair. of the tendons tearing from their fixings and then of the now-free-moving-bone through and out of the skin on the ankle.  He looked at himself in the bedroom mirror. and in turn he twisted as though gripped by the force of a hurricane tearing through the pain centres of his brain. It was cold when he woke….OVERGROUND displaced from the right and all he could do was wait. he was out of shape. his femur bone forced itself back in to his hip socket. cleansed no more and was suddenly stark and frozen in diorama around his jagged gait. the cold fresh air. naked from the waist up.

he was very insistent on the half and 10 .OVERGROUND shouted. the small windows and low ceilings. I’m going to have to put on the jeans. we have go to go!” Markus sighed. Markus stood five foot eleven and a half. It was expensive enough to live in London and as he belted up the jeans he held the vibrating toothbrush in his mouth and examined his face for further signs of lethargy and middle age. pennies being blown out into the London city air. A female voice answered with a hurried “Come on. his face crinkled down the right hand side and he bent down to remove the trousers he had been wearing ‘”I will. He turned to look back at the room. these trousers are too tight! Are you ready?” he stood. The window was closed so he grabbed his belt off of the floral bedcovering and swung himself into the bathroom “I’ll be two minutes! Just gonna brush me teef” The bathroom light clicked on the extractor fan and the steady murmur stuck in Markus’s mind as nothing more than a waste of electricity. silently awaiting the response but it did not come. uneven floor and plasterwork were bathed in the spring sunshine. he scooped up his jeans and the polo shirt in his strong left arm and headed from the mirror to the doorway ‘”Are you ready?” “Almost” answered the voice.

pinker and patchier than the ideal complexion.OVERGROUND would often follow this up when asked with the assertion that “but in shoes I’m six feet”. treasures from the deep. gaunt and deep today. He looked again and reached for his sunglasses. He pulled his Royal blue polo shirt over his mop of hair careful to not dirty it with toothpaste and opened his eyes wide to try and coax them into life. which would occasionally reward his careful mining with rather enjoyable blackheaded worms. “Are you fucking coming! I’m going to go without you!” Charlotte barked up from the front door. big sunglasses. It wasn’t working. 11 . Today though.” Markus spat out the foam and wiped his mouth. he looked tired and greyer than he liked or expected others would like. I told you I was just brushing me teeth! I didn’t know what you were up to. turned off the light and grabbed his keys before trotting down the stairs. “Oh. darkened rings beneath his eyes and reddened eyelid skin gave the impression Markus had two black eyes. his nose had largish open pores. he showed one or two scars. the sockets where his eyeballs sat were wide. you’re ready. His skin was a pale olive colour and thankfully the scars from his adolescent acne proved it had not been too destructive.

let them know that there is happiness to be had in this world. wallet. the discussion of ‘needy’ was not worth having. lock up and then catch-up. Charlotte was one of those people who claimed everyone who did not meet her needs and do things her way were needy and over emotional. he slowly meandered along the cul-de-sac giving the day the respect and gratitude it deserved for giving him so much already. it was a public display of affection. As he neared her he wished she would turn around and smile.OVERGROUND “Why do you always take so fucking long? Come on!” and with that Charlotte hurried off. It was all the comfort anyone would need thought Markus.  The day was bright and beautifully warm. After a few steps he noticed Charlotte nearing the corner so picked up his energy level and jogged to her. which she found churlish and needy. failing patently to recognise that her needs were overpowering others around her and no matter what she 12 . but refraining for the sake of a public and humiliating ear-bashing. Of course she would never do that. wanting to jump on her back playfully. leaving Markus to check he had his phone. Of course. not with Charlotte anyway. show some affection to the world.

Pop and Reggae. the facts spoke loud and clear to those who took the time to listen. Dodging prams and buses like a hare dodges birds of prey. fierce in her facial expressions and with the natural default of her muscles to resemble someone troubled by some deep impenetrable fracture. Charlotte. but which gave her a great deal of pain and was no longer easy or of interest. by contrast was flat-footed and lumbering. children and youths wrestled for airspace with the hissing and heavy mechanical crunching of the busses and the booming shop music systems blasting Dancehall and Bhangra. As they walked along the High Street. the smells of the fresh fish and meat permeated the air and their nasal cavities. 13 . Markus darted onto and off of the thin pavement.OVERGROUND asserted. appearing to uncomfortably juggle herself along by the shop doorways. The chorus of busy mothers and fathers. She was a short and stout woman. barely lifting her head to see if there was any other path she could take which offered less resistance. Like an old woman overlooked for a promotion. hopping up and down with all the agility and playfulness of a child enjoying a sunny responsibility-free journey. huffing as she avoided shoppers. She was like an out-moded ice-breaker groaning as she did a job which ‘needed’ doing.

“she touched me as if she was slipping away. She smiled and I could not equate what I felt anymore. my body bubbled within my tightened 14 . there was no dancing to be found in her gait. fresher than the dew and embracing my body in the comfort of a placid Mediterranean sea. Markus had fallen unstoppably and irreparably in love.  Ten years before. Ebbing out like a tide with a lifetime and then-some before it returns to me. often Markus had pondered why was she so sad? ‘What could I do to help? When did it all get so dark I her mind?’ He had asked.OVERGROUND her feet still begrudgingly turning up for the same job after too many years. The light of that August afternoon was the purest light I’ve ever seen. A picture on the wall read ‘You are here’. but still there was a complete rebuttal. yet Markus felt somewhat like ‘here’ had something missing. It was clear to all that she was sad. It seemed to cleanse the tawdry paintwork and reinvigorate and at once the room became a lush green field in summers’ salad times. It washed in through the bedroom windows of her terraced house in Tottenham better than the light on any other afternoon I have ever known. and teased. if ever it was supposed to. something important to him.

Singing Nina Simone we lay back on the bed and watched the clouds through the ceiling and roof. the culmination of growing and forming. every noise a natural and beautiful phenomena. synced in to her every word. both following the same trajectory to our home a million miles away. As easily as that. Like a joyous visage of all the facial expressions which I had taken to mean I was not in any danger. Markus? Or should I call you Ulysses? Haha!” opined Miocetta. lighting me up so I would forever be able to see. we were looking right into the reaches of space. crystallising and reflecting into every corner of me. The sky must have been and was definitely so blue. Her smile was broad and with sparkling mischievous and maternal eyes. this beautiful time.OVERGROUND electrified skin. 15 . simultaneously. telling my fears to quell and feel at ease.” “Would you like some food. Her breath hushed a shoreline soundtrack through her voice. every utterance. unstoppable and so beautiful. watching the sea. No drugs or joy could ever recreate the time sat by that sea. nothing can overwrite the emotional network which fused into absolute in those moments. all beaming through one face. There is nothing like that.

all sleepy smile and sticking-up hair. Smooth and soft had touched his earlobes like a cool summers breeze. “Okay darling” eyes closed and mouth barely moving Markus edged his ankle out from under the warmth of the 20 tog. and it’s fair to say Markus was in love. His quest now. was his 16 . Her cadence had soothed him like calamine. Veronica had awoken from a bad dream and was sobbing. thank you. goose down duvet and slipped his right foot into the grey shark-tooth woollen slippers by the bed. in this moment.OVERGROUND “You are so right. his brusque efforts sounded amateurish and uncultured and his voice sat uncomfortably against the cherishment he was still feeling within the warm afterglow fusing into his being.” whispered Lorraine.  “She wants her Father. He was burning with thoughts of how this moment could be true. that is a lovely idea. The left foot was close behind and as Markus rose from the bed he took his dressing gown from the chair and wrapped his body glancing reassuringly to Lorraine. soothed like camomile afternoons.” Markus paused for breath. I’d love one if it’s not too much trouble. he sipped on her verse savouring every last drop and slurp.

Veronica calmed in a moment and Markus offered her his sleeve to wipe away the snot. He lives in the reeds of the old ladies garden…” 17 . and is told by a friend of yours and mine. Of Mr Rumble Bumble too.OVERGROUND daughter. kissing her head and stroking her hair. a story shall be told. Veronica threw herself into daddy’s arms for a sob and he held her close and carefully. a simple oneness. Calmly she stretched back in her bed and Markus pulled the duvet up under her chin. Markus sat on the edge of Veronica’s bed and began “Within the pages of this book. stroked the hair from her forehead and clasped in his left hand the book she loved to have him read. of a fine young man who loves to cook and his mum who’s really old. ‘The Gardeners’. The story goes so listen tight from day time play to sleep sleepy night. “It’s okay darling. which had transmogrified into some exotic and disgusting face mask for a 2 year old with a five o’clock shadow. daddy is always here” Markus soothed. and he hurried to her. a planned philanthropy. and of the night watchman Mr Snoresatnoon. Mr SlipperyDipperyEarnestKind.

sweet dreams”. daddy loves you very much. her trust and love and how quick those years can fly past if you are not present during them. we are very proud of you. Veronica was fast asleep. She resembled an angel. Markus quietly closed the book and placed it back on the table by the bed. He took a moment to drink in the vista and to appreciate the time he had just spent with his daughter. the frog Mr Slipperydippery acquired hiccups.OVERGROUND As the story went on. sleep well. calm and peaceful. so does mummy. 18 . and the wise old owl takes over narration with the arrival of the invisible Mr Rumblebumble. Doubling at the waist Markus leaned forward and puckering his lips gently kissed Veronica’s head and ushered softly “Goodnight gorgeous girl. Before Markus had finished. content and safe in the sails of the boat of her dreams. and we will always love you.

I wish to sit and to type. whether from mistake or falsehood may you find me. but now yours. Corruption and sex.OVERGROUND Chapter 2 Too Young She did not deserve to die. but nonetheless my words are wishes I hope you can see and understand. moving gifted forwarded. My sideways is bachelor. but to say in text my thoughts for I have been of wonderment beyond my time. Remember how we lived. surely it does not come more honey than that. seen things before they came to being and wish you owned my brand of reasoning all to your hearthside. then. the cure might be found. with ail and pity and in deed less than evermore celebrated life. sure as I roll this cigarette she did not deserve that fate. cleansed in our future not our past. It was not the path that was hers and given the moment to correct it you would have stepped in to do as such. but then vis is in felony. but bastards we are not. not to sit and to type. Coming to ambition late. based on that. not youth. I will not allow us to make a memory of the mankind 19 .

She slipped away.   Born noble of sorts. Markus’s Mother’s bloodline were Knights Hospitallers in the 15th Century. another. simply peace. the 35th President of the United States of America also descending from the same ancestor and with close ties to Markus’s Father. no hurtful thought. there is only the future and the oat with it’s brutality is nothing. The crows squawked like a wedding bell awakening. who in the 11th Century was the only King to have ever held unified rule over the complete landmass of Ireland. Italian and Spanish Royal family before that. Another. Before King Brian. no more than my other. folklore have that the early ‘Unnatural/Ugly/Woollen heads’ were either early rulers in prehistoric Africa. All of this inspired and betrayed 20 You . my child. his father was a direct descendent of the great Irish King Brian Cennétig.OVERGROUND we once were and could once again be mindful truth. yet my ashes did not imagine my calm entire. sheep herders or had even been emplaced on the earth as sentinels of a higher consciousness. Wishes I know we know. and later continued to hold a great political significance in the region and wider with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. are my happiness when you allow the light to bathe you.

  He ached. so much amazement was contained in that woman.… apart from your mummy” Lorraine glowed. “Hello Veronica. to throw off the shackles of expectation and to be one of the normal kids. Oh.OVERGROUND Markus in equal measure. exhausted and joyful in her hospital bed. “It is a lovely name and I do think you are right. that 21 . His face lifted and gently smiling as he looked onto the baby in his arms. How he loved her. to rebel. “Veronica” he whispered as he turned to Lorraine sweaty and with flushes dancing across her body and face. you are the most beautiful girl in all the world. He lifted the tiny ball of warmth and nature and love to his face and gently kissed her forehead. she is a Veronica”. like a broke-backed octogenarian who had carried her family through a lifetime of growth and suffering. If he was to accede to his rightful place he must understand the fruits of this knowledge or risk a corruption of all that had for so many millennia been so established. for whom fun was not some moralistic dutybound exchange based around the virtues of collective duty and the promotion of the potential for beauty and quality in the human consciousness.

unquenched and thirsty and mind racing again to the fields. vis a vis as his heart beated like a triumph within mind and body fused to reality. the laughs and the hoping. Who else could take a moment of joy and love. hustling in an urgency unquoted. as though he was visiting the grass roots but with the cable cars humming like mists in his clear views. the hopping and the sleeping. a leap with arms outstretched. were video. but was packed and gigantic. total admiration and love. His dreams of this magnificence had always been pictures and now. the dancing and the graceful sol. they smiled. Everything was illuminated once more.OVERGROUND amazing woman. movie. tranquil and gracefully waltzed to Lorraine.    22 . the happiness. Within his arms was a reach into the impossible. shared nine months prior and turn it into this treasure held in his arms? Markus and Lorraine looked at one Markus’ gaze was another and somewhere deep within them a part of their eyes primal as survival connected. all it’s beauty. This landmark was shrouded in tranquillity and serendipity. emitting through his every pore. soundtracks of exuberance and floating all at the same moment coursing and pumping through him.

addicted in a way to the same faces. Markus went on “Once you raise the question of even the good being bad. She was familiar in the way that family seem to resemble each other. I learned to not care so much” He turned and fixed his stare on the young lady next to him. you know that forest was deep. yet” pausing. but my knees are weak and jarring in their movements. “…but eventually I adapted to it and the undulations were like friends and each leaf fall was no-longed noted. the recognisable normalities. spring has sprung and I’m equally alive as subjected to the environmental pressures I stalked through. I am sure that nature runs out of faces. lots of small hills to tumble over…” Markus squeezed out a smile and lifted his brow for comic effect. observing souls. it doesn’t matter. what really do you have left to think about? Each thought becomes gun fire. tied to them. As she tightened her lids around her eyes forcing the skin next to her eyes to crease. he continued “No. she had blue eyes and dark hair which had been cropped tight to her face. trying to keep moving. tearing through with 23 . thoughtful. the silence seemed hopeful and although his breath was quickened and anxious. an elegant face.OVERGROUND  “I’m… I was losing it perhaps” uttered Markus. heart racing. “I’m zombielike.

with ‘you’. it was only really scary dangerous at the point of comparison compared. tilted her head slightly to the left and took a long slow intake of breath. where the shutting down and over-running of the safe-zone of the mind. it was hard in there but I was strong like disease and silent like light. pursing her lips so they opened a small amount. month-to-month and year-to-year. but I really went the whole hog and bizarrely found it strengthening. It felt normal to be this alert but. you are safe 24 . I worry about me and I know I’m safe with you and reassuring as life is. what don’t I know about me?” The attractive lady. Worrying about worrying! That was never gonna be a good idea. swimming. only a thought clever-enough will learn to jump beyond the noise and be there waiting for when head and inner ear clears. moment-to-moment. who would want this? Perhaps just because of threat of attack. I know it sounds mad. I am safe and well. day-to-day. before she had a chance to interject Markus continued his diatribe “Why was I making them so worried? I’m always mindful to examine my life. and I wonder if they knew me at all. Mad as art. of internal battles. I know it is dramatic.OVERGROUND a sonic boom. really. and if they did or do. climbing. she examined the space Markus was leaving. but I thought I knew these people. it does to me too. deafening to the next thought. would be just enough to carry me through like grass to hay.

Doctor Henderson smiled in agreement “Yes. that is as long as you feel that the worst has passed? 25 . yeah. “I’ve never felt like this before and really want to try and pinpoint the cause. “How are you getting on with the Sertraline? Is it helpful still?” Markus turned to look out of the window. again she fastened her eyeline on Markus’ face. I feel like I have my head in the clouds and goes from not really being emotional at all. to get back to work and normal routine would be beneficial. I want to get back to normal routines quickly. his hands were still and sitting neatly on his brown rabbit fur gloves. perhaps not as effective as it was. the room fell silent again and Markus and the young dark haired lady were alone. she had upon her chest a badge ‘Dr Henderson’. the worst.OVERGROUND with me. I hope… I am having crackin’ mood swings. and I think that maybe I don’t need it so much anymore as the worst is over. to wanting to sob and sob and totally breakdown” he paused. Dr Henderson was pretty. it has passed. her face read freely that she was concerned. that’s probably the thing I miss the most” Markus raised his head but at the same time looked earnestly at his lap. “It’s fine. He glanced down at her breasts. the sunset was lotus flower orange. but I am trying to downdose now. I intend like Ginsburg to cut the swathe through the forest to make the clearing” Markus sank back in his chair.

Smiling big and pulling their mouths with index fingers into all sorts of contortions one lady did submit to the game but instead of a smile she illustrated an amazingly convincing sad face. dismay and faux invalidation. like a freight train smashing through the happy family car. anything at all. a feeling of loss so colossal it was as though he was a bottle which had been dropped from the window of his car at that exact moment on that motorway. took to his feet in a resolved and determined posture and declared ‘Onward and upward” before shaking her hand and setting off through the doorway. As he drove his black Ford Capri along the A40. the rainy weather was the only problem. at that exact 26 . low at the corners of the mouth which resulted in the kids falling about in hysterical laughter. but nonetheless a change. It was then it struck him again. smiling gleefully out of the window willing and daring other drivers to care enough to risk a smile to stretch across their faces. Markus smiled and thanked her. comfortably ensconced in the generous bucket seats. I’m happy to refer you on if you want me to”.OVERGROUND If there is anything. he knew he had made a change. The children were in the back looking out at the other cars. a small one. just pop in and make a sooner appointment. that and Cliff Richard on the radio.

with the tatters all around where once was a huge weather balloon bubble of a heart. now there was only the stark light. his seeds of discomfort strewn through the distance travelled had just lodged again in his mind and he was once more standing in the middle of his broken heart. 27 .OVERGROUND speed a lifetime ago. the echo of the explosion and the afterimage burned into his eyes of the happiness now diaspora and shredded. the unprotected sadness of the world. a life that fractured into a million shards and thump one of a million shards of his bottle.

OVERGROUND Chapter 3 Charlotte 28 .