Monday, 4 January 2016


She feels severe disorientation as though she’s staring down from a great height, like from the top of a towering skyscraper in the centre of Guildford, stood on a platform up in the clouds and away from the world of motorway service stations and dead end jobs, looking down onto the faceless masses all milling around anonymously below, each drone leading their own individual everyday boring insignificant lives in accursed suburbia. Then the next second there’s a lurch and the viewpoint is reversed, the perspective doing a 180 degree shift and she’s plunged into the depths of the gutter, gasping for air and submerged into filth and darkness. She’s unable to see or feel anything down here beyond a numb blankness, although it’s intensely suffocating and there’s a desperation that everything will be like this forever, that the void down here is all that everything will ever be. As her senses slalom between the two vistas, Cheryl can make out Nicola’s face suddenly come into focus. But that face is now repellent, with eyes and mouth seemingly collaged from disparate sources, like scrunched up magazine pages stuck down with watery glue, each one seeming to move of its own independent sinister will. Nicola’s face appears as a monstrosity and its eyes have seen all the evil that’s ever been done, eyes that resemble nothing so much as two hollowed out wounds, eyes taking in only darkness and sorrow. Cheryl shudders and tries to focus, blinking her tears away. Nicola reaches round and shakes her friend's shoulder, “You OK hun?”

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