Kindra Austin, Jimmi Campkin, Christine Ray and Mariah Voutilainen are excited to announce that they will soon be launching Indie Blu(e). Indie Blu(e) is designed to be a vehicle to support both self-published writers and those published through small independent presses, as well as the readers who are passionate about independent writing. The concept […]
We are such delinquents, and what a joy it is to swill that word around our mouths like bad bourbon. So what if we’ve started a few fires? You can walk on water and I can follow in your footsteps. You tread the waves flat and I aim for the shoeprint. It’s easy. It’s so easy.
Because this is what we do. This isn’t an affectation or a hobby or a cry for help. This is why we breathe. Surfing clouds is easy, swimming in a blue sky is easy. Opening our eyes to the rain and letting it drip on our cornea’s without blinking is easy. We run our fingertips through the concrete of a subway and carve our names into the dust and disappointment, and it is easy.
Time to soar, time to beg for more. A handful of hair and a crease on the hip, we collide and disperse, atoms flirting through space and dancing around our charges. I inhale the scents of activity – cheap ass perfume covering the seven days since you last saw a shower, the rich iron of your recent cycle and dry sand in your armpits, in the folds under your knees.
I whip off your dress in one motion, drive a stake through the shoulder hoops, and plant it firmly in the ground, in the name of…. something. Flapping in the breeze we get down to the basic instincts, as the stars revolve above us like voyeurs, trying to appear indifferent but unable to stop staring. I finish too soon – and isn’t that a well told story without a decent ending – but for once you don’t seem to mind. Lying on the beach, our only contact is your ankle crossed over mine. I’m breathing deeply, sticky with all manner of things, but you lie still, absorbing the constellations into your eyes. When I look across I can see them glittering like sunlight on fresh snow, changing with every blink, and every languid puff of your awful smelling cigarettes.
It’s hard knowing someone who only comes out at night. I walk alleyways and shopping centres, fields and forests, trying to find the point of it all, waiting for the sun to die and my hope to rise. But every now and then, under the unforgiving and judgemental glare of daylight, I hear a familiar noise and look up. I see the kite’s flying above, swooping in circles, wings hooked like your shoulderblades, and all is well in this garish, vulgar, unsubtle world.
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Jimmi Campkin 2018
In the dream, she walks behind me as I stand in front of something impossible, trying to find my way around it. She wraps her tentacles around my waist with a squeeze and I feel her breath on the back of my neck. My hair, and everything else, stands to immediate and obediant attention. When did I get so submissive? I feel her breasts pressing into my ribcage and her heartbeat thumps against my spine, playing the bones like a xylophone. I can feel the nerves dancing in my heels.
Nothing is impossible inside your forcefield. Wearing you like a rucksack, with your arms wrapped around my neck and your legs hooked under my arms we flatten mountains and part seas. We stomp across suspension bridges, leaving rippling waves that send cars and coaches flying into the air and over the edge. We reduce cathedrals into dust and snort an ecclesiastical line or two from our forearms. Your long scarlett red hair hisses like serpents and cuts like a molten whip, slicing through the forearms and necks of any fool who steps in our way. We collect limbs like pennies in a casino flattened by a tornado.
I offer impossible things, because I like it when you bite my ear in irritation. One day, we walk into the sea with our pockets full of rocks, to see the shipwrecks and pickpocket the dead. I know that this is an impossibility too far, and as the cold water curls around my ankles and then my knees, I realise that I’m feeling for the first time. We go under into a deep blue and I cannot breathe. I stumble along, in the vague direction of the skeletons of ships, seaweed waving us away, until your heel nudges me in the hip. You’re pointing in the direction of a metal husk, with eyeless sockets where the Captain’s bridge used to be, and a broken bow like a dislocated jaw.
I trudge over, but my feet are getting heavier, or you are getting heavier, or the tide is pushing us back. I turn my head to meet yours and we kiss, but I realise as our lips meet that you are struggling as well. I taste your tongue, mingling with sea water, and we break apart, our lungs convulsing as you hold me tighter than you have ever done before. Arms around my neck, my ribcage compressed and your heartbeat now beating tribally against my back.
I wake up face down. My pillows have been violently tossed out from under my head and are resting on my back where your breasts once were. There’s blood on the sheets from chewing my lips apart. I’ve gripped the sheets so hard, my fingers have pushed through. Every muscle is locked tight. I roll over with some effort and stare at the ceiling until I can escape impossibility and return to a safety I don’t want anymore.
This, this, a thousand times this.
You are mud and seashells, gale and lull, give and take. During ebb, when the world condenses into white-purple flashes and soft euphoria, I can reach down to plant a kiss on your slimy forehead. On other days you remain a secret, a soft glimmer beneath the waves, a statue of sharpened rocks barely concealed by the water’s brim. There are times when I can only see the tip of your fingers, sticking up above the surface under which you wait for me, still I know you’re there, waiting, moaning with the flow. You paint me as your queen – eyes like shipwrecks and with the hands of every drowned swimmer entangled in my hair, and the mire beneath our feet sighs in content as it begins to pull us down.
To those of you who might still remember me – I’m back! Sort of. I know I’ve been…
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I remember the first time I saw my schoolteacher naked. I’d returned from lunch early to avoid being alone in a crowd; I preferred to be alone whilst alone. I opened the door and found Miss Kempt, laying back in her chair with her eyes closed. Both ankles were resting on the desk as she reclined, knuckle deep inside herself, with a sanitary towel clinging on to the gusset of her panties which itself hung from one knee. For some reason, it reminded me of the pathetic bunting we’d put around the corridors with messages of learning and wisdom, quotes from dead cunts we didn’t care about telling us to learn stuff we didn’t care about so we could grow up and get jobs we didn’t care about, and meet partners we didn’t care about and have children…. well, you get the idea.
I snuck out before she could notice I was there and took my boner into the boy’s bathroom. I showed it to the weird kid in the class next to ours in exchange for three sticks of gum and four packets of stickers. He just stared at it for a while, breathed on it, tried to touch it but then flinched away like it was an exposed electrical socket. With a last wheeze from his stuffed nose, he gulped hard and ran into a cubicle, slamming the door behind him. I zipped myself up and left, my head feeling light and without blood.
When we all finally returned to class, Miss Kempt was on her knees sponging the floor, next to a bucket of pale, pink water.
I do a few tabs of blotter acid and head for the arcade. Mercy is working tonight; a diva with dirty feet and a bruised knuckle from knocking the shit out of her Dad. I nod towards her, but those circular hawk eyes are scanning the room like a survellience camera. This time of year, old homeless guys come in looking for warmth and free water, using their last pennies to start a game they’ll never finish as they get the feeling back in their throats and fingers. Mercy shows none; she stands behind the old fools waiting for them to take a turn of a game they can’t understand, before throwing them out by their greasy collars.
A seventeen year old boy in a huge uniform, with a rock in his throat, waves at me and offers me a gappy smile. Slip works the ice cream parlour, which is why I never order any. Slip’s face is pebbledashed with acne, a series of hideous eruptions that produce small yellow snakes whenever he does something like talk, or breathe or exhale into his cheeks. Mercy has thumped him twice; once when he tried it on with her and once when he tried to jerk off into the salted caramel.
Somewhere around the fifth go on House Of The Dead the wave crashes over my brain and I’m failing badly. I take a few more tabs, knowing there is no going back now, and my only chance is to fry my brain so badly it tries to reset itself. Monsters are reaching out from the cabinet to wrestle the light gun from my hand. I can feel the coins in my pocket chewing each other like little Pac-Men. I step away from the encroaching zombies and start firing the light gun wildly at a ten year old boy trying to play Virtua Cop on the machine next to mine. He has red eyes and sounds like James Earl Jones, and I know he is controlling the monsters and so must be destroyed.
When I regain consciousness, I’m sitting on the floor against the shutter of the arcade. It’s closed, but the lights still blink and fizz above me. My head has melted to my knee, bone on bone, and I scream as I wrench it free. Standing up, on one leg and with the sea wind blasting through the hole in my head, I stumble down the empty promenade. On nights like this I’ll break into a car and sleep on the backseat, because the wallpaper in my bedroom moves and makes me seasick.