still alive and totally conscious, between two buffers but
with his rib cage squashed up like this, about six inches
left between these buﬀers. So along come the ﬁre brigade
and the doctor; cut away the bo楬er suit offof his arm and
give him a jag. Fire brigade told that they couldnt free
him. We couldnt use the engine to separate the wagons
cause one back-movement would close up the few inches
between the buﬀers and squeeze the life out him. My
driver was Barra and he was in tears but he wouldnt let
anyone else ease the engine and two top wagons away so
gently, leaving The Stick trapped between the other two
says to The Stick that everyone was going to
tug the wagon oﬀ of him with a rope then they'd rush him
up to the hospit慬. He just whispered, could he have a
smoke. I started making this roll-up but the manager
went, For christsake, and hands The Stick a cigarette
from his silver case. I lit it and placed it in The Stick's
lips, holding it and taking the cigarette out for each wee
puff he managed. 䅬l the men gathered round, watching
s楬ently. I remember that the butt was stained pink oﬀof
his lips. Well at long last that cigarette was gone and The
Stick just whispers, Right, pull it away. The ﬁre brigade
had a rope on the hook of the top wagon and all us men,
must have been forty of us: railway, ﬁshermen, piermen,
fe汬ows from the ice factory; we 慬l grabbed that rope and
with one tug the wagon pulled forward smoothly behind
us and it was clamped quick. The Stick stood straight up,
took one step forward, was stock still then suddenly a汬
these black guts pushed out his mouth, his legs wobbled
and he fell on the rails dead.
dozed a while then I got up. In the bathroom I used
Red Hanna's razors and shaving foam on my legs. On
top of the spray can the words for Good Morning were
round the rim in all different languages.
I had a shower then helped myself to plenty of V the
D's t慬c and moisturiser, putting it here and there. I got
into the new short summer dress not bothering with the
basque or anything on my feet.
Hi, I goes to her.
Tomorrow oﬀ too? she says.
I nodded, heating some left-over soup and roast tat-
There were no good 晩ms on telly and Red Hanna
was so mortal V the D had to put him to bed. Lanna
phoned me up and asked if she could come round with
my presents but I says to leave it till work cause I'd an
other wee thing for her. I goes about Couris Jean's stuff
and I'd get Red Hanna to drop it off. She says, You
sound all choked up with the cold.
I'm pretty jiggered, I goes.
Oh, pet, Lanna went .
fter V the D dawdled off to bed
looked at the chang
ing lights coming from the te汬y and showing across the
used the goldish lighter on Silk Cuts then put my
head in my hands for a good bit.
curled my bare legs on
the couch then after a wh楬e I got up to turn off telly. I sat
in the light coming from the heater and showing across
the room. At some time
pulled the short dress up.
You couldnt remember what one, but one had taken
my right bosom and Lanna's left bosom, then ever so
careful placed the points together so both our hard nip
ples were rubbing then he gently took both in his mouth,
sucking and licking them together in such a surprising
and loving way with Lanna looking me in the face all the
while he did it.
I let my hair touch the ﬂoor just as I made it hap
wiped my ﬁnger high up on the
curve of my bottom and pulled the short dress down.
After a bit I put the heater out and toddled off to the
t was just sheeting rain in the night, clearing the roads a
bit, but snow was all on the hill above The Complex.
Red Hanna was backshift, going out on the twenty to six
train, so I did a boiled veg with cheesy sauce. V the D
gave us a lift down the road and they were going to drop
off the gumboots and coat at Couris Jean's on the way to
the station. Te汬 her, thanks, I says. When we parked out
side my ﬂat I told Red Hanna I'd leave their presents at
the station. I'd ask yo us up for coffee sometime but I've
loads of clearing out to do, I says. V the D crunched the
clutch and didnt use her mirror pulling out.
n the ﬂat I got a new pack from the carton and used the
goldish lighter on a Silk Cut. I put Secondhand Daylight
by Magazine on the record player. I switched on and put
the needle to Rhythm of Cruelty, the second track on
Side One. Then I took out the live album Play and just
put all Side One on. I set the Christmas tree on very fast
then plugged in the heater. I took the computer disc out
the steerhide jacket and looked at it. I opened the desk
drawer. His Autocard for the hole-in-the-wa汬 was there. I
took out the Autocard, tossed in the disc and shut the
drawer. Through in the bedroom I piled the dirty sheets
in the corner and made the bed. I changed sides on the
record. Dead on the scullery ﬂoor, He wasnt even smelly.
ext morning was payday. It was still raining and I got
my period. I was up at sixish. I collected my bag from
the downstair bakery under The Mantrap then in the
Staff Only bothy at the station I dropped off Red Hanna
and V the D's presents. Coil and SPD were there. About
to go out on the twenty to eight, SPD says, bows the
magic knee? I just laughed.
At the work all was as per usual. I got to sort the
load. I gave Lanna her presents: that locket she wanted
and my old leather jacket she always loved. I says, Sorry
it's not much. She gave me a big bear hug and from her I
got the video of Miss .45 The Angel Of Vengeance. I'd
been trying to order it for ages and she'd had to post
away for it. Also I got a dead brilliant dear-looking pedi
cure set. Look, I says, we'll have a video party at Hogma
nay. Lanna goes if I'd heard from Him. I went, No.
fter the work Bill Nelson's Red Noise was in the ears as
I walked home. On principle I never shopped at the
superstore and I turned carrier bags inside out. Up at the
freezer shop I bought easy-cook pizza cause of the body
on my scu汬ery ﬂoor.
Back in the flat I chucked away the bit mail from
model shops in the south. Trying to get in the oven to
heat the pizza His body caused the usual hassles but I
soon had it underway.
Watching telly wh楬e eating you only saw men ma
chine-gunning in a ruined town. It was Yugoslavia then
there was a picture of a girl human with the head missing.
I put off the channel and watched the video of Bad Lieu
tenant while trying the bits of the pedicure set. I ﬁnished
off using some Dusky Cherry on my toenails; my toes all
splayed by the toe-dividers stuﬀed in between.
hen Bad Lieutenant ﬁnished I did a big breath on
account of the sadness of it. I put Iron Path by Last
Exit on the record player turned up to 8. With the loft
hook I tugged down the hatch. I stretched and p畬led the
end of the ladder down to the ﬂoorboards then I climbed
up into the darkness. It was cold up there. There was no
bulb in the rafter ﬁtting. I pressed:
The hum of the transformer came and I switched on
ighttimeness was in the little village beyond the power
station at the far end of the pass. Tiny lights showed
here and there. You saw the railway line and at the top of
the stairs the hotel with the pointing-up tower, the grave
yard path above and the tiny Tree Church ﬂowered as per
usual cause of the always summerness of the model vil
lage. I shoved in the switch. The humming stopped and
there was dark except from the two skylights up in
the rafters, moonlight was showing in two rectangles
across the baby house slates of the village. Milky light
on the mountainside where the pylons came down made
climbed down the ladder then fetched the new mir
rored shades from the bedroom.
pulled on the scullery
gloves then grabbed a leg. The leg moved then the whole
body jerked in a movement that frightened you.
dropped the leg: it didnt move like a living thing at 慬l. I
did a big breath and my heart was racing.
ﬁngers in the tight plastic gloves, bent down and gave a
good tug. He was heavier than a six-wheeler loaded with
tatties. I got Him under the ladder leaving a long smear
down the corridor. The new mirrored shades had come in
handy cause the blood wasnt so bright reddy as it came
fresh from under His body.
Up in the loft I got the end of the spare pulley rope
and hauled it back down the ladder with the ratchet
clicking away. I tied the rope round His ankles then
climbed back up into the loft where
put the shiny
ratchet handle in the winch like He showed me when
helped Him build the model of His ch楬dhood village. I
began turning the handle the other way and wound Him
up the ladder towards me. His mouth hit every rung on
the way up and
thought His hand was going to come off
but it was quite sturdy and was still attached on. He
swung into the loft when His face cleared the hatch and
His bottom came near me then twisted away.
I had to go down the ladder to change sides on the
used the goldish lighter on a Silk Cut while
knocking off from the job for a bit.
Back up the ladder I tied His arms to the other pul
ley rope then wound the body up till it was hanging, spin
ning a little, over the baseboard of the huge model.
other ratchet then released the brake: the body
crashed down onto the buildings
His childhood v楬lage
smashing in one side of the mountain then lying still, face
up to the skylights.
is toes at the far end of the pass. His face beyond the
railway line. His body crushed the hotel with its point
ing-up tower at the top of the stairs. The Tree Church on
the sgnurr above where he lay back upon the land.
opened both skylights with the hook. Two rectangles of
moonlight were on His bare body.
leaving the hatch open. I put on some ofi汬 own music
rather than His: Spiral Tribe Sound System Sirius 23 and
a tape of some D]s, that bootleg of The Mutoid Waste
scrubbed the blood off the ﬂoor, drawing a tissue
over the boards till no grime showed. I chopped the
stained rug in bits then
washed the cleaver and knife
and hung them back up above the sink. You could see
He'd taken a good chunk out the table when the cleaver
had come down
the hand. I wound the video of The
Passenger forward to the bit where his wife is watching
the news 晩m of the ﬁring squad on a beach. You could
tell it was actual. After they shot, the nerves or something
made the slouched man's face slowly look up. I rewound
that bit then watched the whole ﬁlm to its sad end.
put one of His records on called Stravinsky Balle啩 (Or
pheus side) then climbed up the ladder.
It'd started snowing again and ﬂakes spun in
through the skylights to the music. His lips were dusted
with a layer falling right onto them.
I untied the ankle knot then re-rigged the main pul
ley. As I wound the handle, the model on its baseboard
rose smoothly up, taking the weight of His body nearer
the skylights, then it stopped under the rafter, snow flakes
t睩rling down on the summer land, coating the sides of
the pass, layering the village roofs and the giant man, lay
ering the ﬂowered roof of the Tree Church above Him.
Some moonlight came through the skylights with the soft
fall and it shone on the snow.
here was a real thunderplump. The
rain was just coming down in sheets so's the water
was dripping over my ears and you couldnt use the
Walkman. Wipers of
cars and lorries made that noise
and hands wiped from inside at the steamy windscreens
leaving those ﬁnger shapes.
At the cash dispenser
stared at greenish numbers,
You'd never have dreamed of so much money being
yours, never in a month of Sundays. I withdrew the daily
limit. He used to get me to withdraw on His card for
telly, video, electric and rent. I put the Autocard back in
my purse. With that kind of money there were cassettes
you could get from the mail list and you could send away
for bobby-dazzler clothes out the catalogue and get extra
driving lessons on top the ones He'd 慬ready paid for.
walked straight to the travel agent.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested