Firstly, it was a slight. It was a moment in a room, which supposedly became something of nothing.
- It was only an hour, you said.
- One hour of my life that changed the course of it forever, I wished I had said, but could not.
- There will be a time again, you said.
- I don’t think there will.
After the slight, there were the tales of madness. You spread them like worms on a table. They jostled and runted their blind way under, over, through, muddy sputum and spittle. Warped, ringed and fleshy they were. Terrible, oozing fields of writhing nature. I was watching as they mumbled and clicked. Movements were afoot –digging. Harsh and metal, my toes were amputated. I was two months older and I had no balance – this had only served to make it worse. In your opinion, I failed to blow my own trumpet. My flute is tiny. It beats to a different drum. Far, far away.
So, after that excitement, more movement. More snakes. I got feedback. I announced that I was going to a different place. I took on the role with gusto. I sorted, faxed, filed, delivered. I was assessed of course. I still failed on the old trumpet business, but my flute was sufficiently quiet as to not disturb anyone.
Other people in the workplace asked if they should be worried. I said that there should be no worry. I could overcome the treatment if I just put my hand in amongst the worms. Sadly, they had dried a little now and become a bit like sweet spaghetti – red and leathery. There was no fluidity at all. The sun had dried up all living things. Only the odd twitch of a flippy head. Writhing in dessication.
Somewhere, a fuzzy brown coating had appeared. It lingered and stuck wherever I went. There was little I could do. A Machiavellian chocolate smearing. It pervaded all things that I touched. Followed me to bus-stops, got wiped onto my legs. Sometimes I trod it into the office, whereupon they all held their noses.
Someone shiny and new came along and cleaned up. They said: ‘There, there,’ and all that kind of soothing thing that soothing things do. I took flowers. I still could not manage that trumpet. My flute was fading. Underneath all of the music, there was a silent drumming. You’re still alive. You’re still alive, it said. Don’t give in. Don’t give up.
Hands came out of the walls, like some Polanski handshake. I was tied up and thrown overboard. I didn’t really have a chance. Even my hands were tied. Really, the masking tape over the mouth was the final straw. It really was. An imposition.
I give permission for you to release the plot.