Jim Goes Mad Over Dawn, His First “True” Love
Death looked OK, and spoke a serious tale. He listened, watching the talker Death talk. Death hummed and hawed a while but in the end told it to him straight – why wait? — it was not worth beating about the bush. “That means,” explained Death, “better to get on with it, your final solution, so to speak.”
He locked himself away, and planned his plans. They came like saboteurs and scorched his peace of mind, ideas that ran amok like angry stallions, bully bulls that bellowed as they pierced and meated him, butting horny with desire. Piecemeal rituals began to scatter every waking moment and obsessions sank him lower. At least they seemed to keep the talker Death at bay. When he wasn’t obsessing, up popped Madness, up popped Death. His unfree mind struggled on. He knew how late he was, it was.
Winter broke him, froze him. Replicas of former days accosted him. He thought he saw but didn’t. His plans were not the same. He didn’t have to die. Another mania drew him nearer, and he saw himself inside. His family were inappropriate. They might plead, follow, foul his way. How could they help with what he had to do? He shouted at them, grabbed knives, turning his only real personal source of help to hurt. They’d done it. How could they undo it, anyhow? Love looked on and took a very minor role. Dolores love.
Towards him in the early evening Dawn threatened. Agony. The blear sun rose at dawn, and Dawn he followed.
Stalker stalker by the bush
Who is the gal you’re gonna rush?
Questions, questions, you absolute git,
I’m the one doing the hit.
“Stalker stalker by the bush!” he shouted. No one made head or tail of any of it, but what if he thrust and killed her? “I wasn’t made for this,” he wept. Looking in the mirror he shouted, “If it were done when ‘tis done then ‘twere well / It were done quickly…” and relished his Shakespearian snout. But he knew it was useless. His life was completely off the rails. He was hurtling along, out of control, driverless, and his nowhere-station never came.
Stalk? Thrust? Kill?
Like pigeons from a conjurer’s insensate hat his plans were multiplying and he found pale laughter standing at the gallows, smirking ludicrously. So down the stairs he went, his head absolutely chock-a-block full of chocks and blocks and he wasn’t seeing any of it clearly. There they were at the table. “I’ve come to eat,” he announced, and they seemed happy to see him, tepid happy and hopeful nopeful. His father put a heavy hand upon his shoulder. “Hi, son,” he said. Mum and sister happy helped it down.
It was to be in February. No pleasantries, no jokes. Grim-lipped.
Day’s metal melted and a warm wind blew. Night grew and cawed, crowing its preternatural wares, banes, blasts, preternatural, witchly cares.
The knife became his constant friend, his fears reposed, and strange worlds found him walking where he knew she walked. He’d lost it many days before but even there he noticed pleasantry and grimness peeping out hand in hand from cracked wall and croaked poke. He hid behind the lopped oak by the broken hawthorn, briared to a nub by the unpleasant, heavy winter that was going. He listened but the silences were startling him, unaccustomed spring-ups between the trees, shrubs like tiny elves and dryads, peeping in and out, upsetting him. A lone dog looked and urinated.
Drowned stars gasped and gulped among the heaving raids of clouds, the skud-skud-skud of heavy skies. The eyes and voices on the path, short and shorter steps and voices, whispering, fancying. Caught in the moon’s dim chains, Dawn walked slowly, and beside her? Men he’d never seen! Not one but two. His thwartedness followed him. He followed them…up to the stairs leading to her house. The door closed shut on his mutt, and that was that.
The nights passed, dripping devil’s dew. He hid but did not meet her till the mid-week. Ah, his luck was in and hers was out. Quite alone, she was. Her hard steps spat, her heels hit sharply into frost. Frozen stone tapped up. He then stepped out, showed his metal, and her eyes dilated horrified.
“Ah, Jim,” she muttered helplessly. She backed and stumbled, fell and froze upon the ground, her slight skirt high above her knees, her white thighs gaping dimly. “Jim, oh, Jim!” she gasped and caught the frozen grass that spiked her small hands readily. He hit her, once, and watched for blood. It welled. Her lips gleamed red, a lipstick-crimson blood. Her bosom rose and fell. She was unconscious and a dim bruise gathered on her chin. But there seemed nothing gained. The world was sucking out, in loss. She seemed a small and unprotected grief, a doe shot down from high-rise hills across a river he named Foul. “Foul!” he shouted. “Fool!” correcting, weeping like a boy who sees his mother hurt. Annihilation pushed at him. Panic stood ready. But bending down he pressed his soiled and trembling lips to hers. Blood wandered resting restlessly, smudging him, and now his tears, timed well because she had begun to stir, fell endlessly.
“My Dawny!” and her blue eyes opened terribly. She shuddered. She convulsed. He touched her cheek.
“Bastard!” she began, but then with more control and fear, “you’ve hurt me, and I never ever…why should I lie to you? Go away!”
From the first chapter of “After Dawn”, a novel about adolescent love, to be published shortly.