The small notebook lay on the table. Next to it lay a ballpoint pen. The old man stared at it. He walked around the table. Eyeing it with a fever on his brow. A bead of sweat trickled down past his eyes and nose. He had been stood in the room for over an hour. Just looking at the blank book. Eyes red raw and bulging. He was talking to it. To himself. No, not talking. Unless it was in tongues. The beginnings and endings of words. The rest was no language I know of. He rushed at the book. Snarling. Gripping the edges of the table. Leering and spitting from the dry corners of his mouth. His frothy spit congealed all over the open pages of the book.
He stayed there for a full minute. His face pulled. Tongue poking out. Teeth bared. His withering skin stretched over his jaws and cheeks. Then he brought his face down into the table. Hard. His nose went crack! He felt blood join the sweat on his lips. He dragged his face slowly down over the edge of the wooden table.
The words of his ex-old lady came flooding back to him.
You’re wrong, you are! Wrong in th’ mind! She had said all this while tapping herself hard on her left temple. That had confused him. She was right handed.
That was back when the package had been traced back to him. The package he had sent to the police station. It had contained fresh roadkill and a note. The note read, THE LATEST VICTIM IN THE WAR AGAINST TERROR. It had been written in her lipstick.
Clever stuff is forensics.
She had suspected him of wrong doing for a while. It was nothing more than a twinkle in his eye. Imagine. A man of his age having a twinkle.
It had all started when women’s knickers vanished off their washing line. To be replaced by others. A size or two smaller. That prank had caused two marriage breakdowns and a husband battering.
Then there was the time that the local teenage hoodlum’s souped up black Vauxhall, bought with drug money, had been spray painted pink. With the words I LOVE COCK over its bonnet. It had stopped the rascal blaring nasty Techno around the estate. He had become a local laughing stock. Even grannies would point and laugh. Kids would throw stones through his windows. The kid had been challenged soon after that. He died in a knife fight.
And, of course, there was the bomb alert in the local church on Easter Sunday. Even the BBC had turned out for that one.
The package incident had confirmed her suspicions. It was all the proof she needed. She left that very day.
Left him with his wrong mind.
A wrong mind.
Dripping with sweat, he straightened up and nodded. Picking up the book and pen, he began to write. At first words came in spasms and nonsense. His wrong mind talking to his hands.
Blah blue blow.
Diddly piddly poo.
Ladies wank on a tank with a plank.
Kill them all then shit on them.
Fuckers. Fuckity wuckity.
Then they came.
First in colours. Green, gold, diamonds and rubies. The words became fluid and patterns all geometrical and he saw the beauty in centipedes entwined and making love and he felt the sorrow of the birth of kittens and the joy of the fallen dried up leaves of winter and the words became honey, all viscous and syrupy and soon he had finished the notebook.
Yet the words still came. And so he started on the table and when that was finished he started on the walls. When his pen finished, he found another. And when one place was full, he moved on to the next. Pencils, crayons, lipstick. He used them all. He burnt matches and smashed his chairs and burnt the ends of the wood and wrote. For days on end he wrote. He did not eat. He couldn’t. The words came tumbling out. A waterfall of language. He was swept away with the tide. His dizziness did not stop his hands moving.
He shat in the toilet but no longer wiped himself as he had used all the toilet paper to write on.
And the sheets.
And his clothes.
He began to form words with his shit. He even pissed words.
Soon there was nothing with which to write with.
But still the words came.
He took the sharpest kitchen knife and began to carve on the floor.
Then on his leg.
Then his feet.
Then his arms.
Then his belly.
Then his face.
Tiredness overtook him. The tiredness that comes with pain. He lay on the floor. Still dabbing his blood in half-formed sentences with his fingers.
Then suddenly, he died.
Yet still the words came.
Jason Michel is the Dictator of PMM. Bite me.