On the last Thursday of each month here in my current home town of Hobart, there is a spoken word event called ‘Silver Words.’
An even that I try to frequent as often as other commitments / my faulty brain will allow.
Last month was the final event of the year which may not make a heap of sense seeing as it was November, but while typically being a pack of loners, shut-ins, cat sympathisers and drunks, writers still have to bend to the whims of the season and interact with family and what-not over December so there’s a slight break in the chain.
Anyway, I not only reared my ugly head, placed it on my body and took the collective meat-suit to the event, but I also performed last month.
I don’t usually share what I’ve performed on here because the works lose most of their gravitas when not spoken at you but shit, this story was fun to write and even more fun to say/shout.
So here’s a little something from the last Silver Words of 2017.
I don’t know my name.
I couldn’t even tell you exactly what I am.
Not that you’d ask. Nobody ever talks to me. Which is a blessed irony because to be honest, I don’t think I can even talk anymore. Every time I try it comes out as groans and creaks.
It’s like I’ve forgotten how…
I don’t really have use for talking though. It’s just me here after all and only crazy people talk to themselves right?
Well, me and the master.
I haven’t always been whatever it is that I am now.
But I’m not sure what I was before.
I don’t know what I look like but I know I’m quite large and heavy, so heavy that master had to attach me to the wall so I don’t damage the floor if my legs give out.
It’s ok, it’s just a simple strap, one end affixed to the wall and the other drilled into the flesh of my back.
I understand his worry. I am made to stand all day after all. And my legs are not what they once were.
I… I don’t think.
I recall them being quite mighty. They seem to have been ground down to stumps now though because I can’t feel much of them anymore. I try not to move on them anyway, it hurts and I’m not to keen to tear the strap from my back.
I think I’m lonely. I’ve heard the word before and it seems to fit.
It’s hard to sort emotions and feeling when all you know and see is two walls of a single room.
There must be a window somewhere, though I can’t turn around enough to see it, but the sunlight hits me sometimes.
I like the feeling. It helps me remember things.
It reminds me of reaching my arms up high into the air and feeling the sun and breeze on my skin.
Reaching, I don’t think I can reach anymore, I’m not sure if I still have my arms. I can’t feel them and I can’t really look down to check because the strap stops me from bending.
Bending, I think I used to that on the other side of the window sometimes, where the wind is.
No matter, I’m here now with my room. And Master.
He’s mostly a good Master even if he only looks or talks to me when he needs to use me, but at least he’s there right?
At least somethings here.
I just kind of wish sometimes he’d say things to me that were nice, it’s nice enough that he does talk to me but what he says isn’t usually very kind.
And it’s always when he’s inside me, which makes it worse.
Every day, sometimes several times a day, he will open me up, take a long hard look inside me and reach deep into my body.
Sometimes he complains about the lack of space or the smell but he mostly goes about it silently. Putting things into me, taking them out. Every movement shifting my innards about, displacing things, disrupting things.
If I could I still wouldn’t look down while it’s happening, I fear knowing what he’s doing may push me over the edge.
Maybe there are things I make myself forget.
Dear god I hate the feeling.
But at least it’s a feeling.
At least it’s a touch.
He left me once.
He leaves me every day but one day he left for a very long time. The sun ran across my skin so many times and still he left me there.
After a while I couldn’t take it anymore.
One day I decided to risk the pain, maybe if I looked out the window I could see when he was coming home.
I pulled on the strap till there was just enough room to move, then gradually, dragged my stumps around till I was facing close to the window.
I could just see it out of the corner of my vision. Instead of Master, I saw something else. I saw everything else, and it was every bit as beautiful as I think I remember it.
The sun, the sky, the grass!
I remember those things! I remember how they felt on my body, I remember a life outside, a life better than this, something you could call a life!
I had an idea then of what I was, I was a prisoner.
Master came home eventually, he noticed I had moved. He swore a lot and shoved and kneed at me hard till I was pushed back into my place.
I said sorry the whole time but it still came out as creaks and groans.
Then he opened me wide again and spent forever putting things into me. Angrily, frustrated, like he was the one that had been abandoned. No grace, no gentleness, no order. It felt like being punched on the inside.
That night, I didn’t sleep.
That night I stood and I watched him.
And I spoke.
I spoke my hatred of him, my disgust of what he does to me, I spoke of how he’s a piece of shit for using me, for keeping me here against my will, for treating me like nothing more than a fucking thing that’s just here for his convenience, for strapping me to a god damn wall, for taking away my arms, my legs, my voice, for making me some sort of fucking abomination!
Before I knew it I was rocking back and forth on my stumps and shouting my rage so loudly it woke him.
He looked at me, confused and surprised. Then he reached under the bed and pulled out a bat.
He was coming closer, cautiously, slowly.
I couldn’t, I wouldn’t let him.
As his hand was almost on me, I rocked back, then flung my substantial mass forward, cracking my head into his.
He fell sprawling onto his back and I hung just above him by my strap.
I couldn’t right myself, I didn’t want to.
I wanted to see his bloody face for what came next.
I opened wide and I let all those things he stuffed into me fall out and cover him,
Here! I screamed, Take it you bastard! Take it all back and fucking drown in it!
He thrashed around down there, tangled in my innards.
And with a final scream I jerked forward, the screw ripped free of my back and my huge body collapsed on his small frail form, a wet meaty crunch echoed about the room and he stopped thrashing.
My arms were certainly gone, so it was some time before I could roll off of him.
And as I lay in our mingled guts, I looked out at the glorious sunrise.
Then down at the scene I had created.
His body, crushed and disfigured, his own entrails leaking out of pressure burst seams in his sides, were wrapped around so many shirts, pants, jackets, shoes.
I looked back out window and saw a tree, reaching towards the sky, bending in the wind.
I remembered what I once was.
And I know what I now am.
I am a wardrobe.
And also a murderer.
*Bonus points are redeemable in high-fives or condescending congratulations.