This is a reworking of an earlier piece.


Wasps buzz and tumble over each other deep between my eyes. Light stings, sound sickens. I bury my head; try to suffocate the wasps, try to starve them of air, starve them of life.

Thump. Thump. Thump.


Thump. Thump. Thump.

The beat of blood pulsing though my veins echoes and warps, spills out of synch until the moment I feel the beat and the moment I hear the sound it makes are far enough apart that the world seems tipped sideways.

Outside my window, low down on the street people shout at each other. I can smell the cotton fibres of the sheet in my nose.

My eyes crack open and when the do the wasps, unsettled, beat their wings. The darkened room, tipped sideways and seen through black flashes of lightening, is still. An empty glass of water, the glass streaked with fingerprints, sits on the bed side table. A crack of light knifes through the tight drawn curtains, flashes off a mirror. Dust motes drift across the room, blaze like a meteor in the light, vanish. The room smells cold.

In the bathroom my skin oxidises, decays in the air. My throat tightens and I gag. Above the sink the small circular mirror is marked with lime scale but when I stare in to it I don’t see death, only two bloodshot eyes ringed with black, surrounded by pale wax skin pulled tight across the scaffolding below.

The water splashes in the porcelain basin, fills the dirty glass. I breathe the cold smell of ammonia through my nostrils.

I drink, and immediately afterwards am sick.


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