Thursday, 31 March 2016


I'm being crushed! It feels like a huge hand trying to squeeze the life out of me, and succeeding. Everything is dark, I can hear the blood racing through my ears as my heart thunders and battles. I knew this day was coming, I've always know, but can't explain how I knew, instinct I guess, but now the moment is here, I'm terrified.

I'm being pushed by an unstoppable force, or is it being pulled. I can't tell, all I know is I want it to stop right now. None of this is good, none of this is right.


In the darkness I feel sick, the pounding of my heart is a blur, blending with the muffled noise all around. I may be blind, but I can hear just fine. I feel a jolt and something changes, I can feel hands on me everywhere. They are like spiders running over my naked skin, probing, pulling, pushing, prodding.   Another jolt, and the huge squeezing hand slips from me. I can feel the cold on my skin, attacking me like a thousand shards of ice. I feel slick, water running off of me in all directions, slick and cold. Another jolt, and this one stings like a mother-fucker. I let out a shout but it sounds more like a squeal to my tortured ears, and then blessedly the jolts stop.

I'm so tired, bone tired,the kind there is no escaping from. I can feel it washing over me now, there is no fight left in me and I surrender to the darkness, drifting away from it all.

When I open my eyes, the world is blurry and bright. Shapes move in, shapes move out, I am sore all over. I try to move and feel a hand rest on my head. In the distance I hear her voice and inside my addled mind I try and put the words together.

"Mr Riley. Heart attack. Everything is going to be alright."

The light in my eyes grows brighter as the epiphany takes hold. I've been given a second chance, a re-birth, and this time I'm going to make every second count.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


"You can do it," I think to myself as she took my elbow in her delicate arm and snuggled into me. We cross the crowded fairground, matching each other stride for stride, heartbeat for heartbeat.

I can't believe she's here with me! Feck that, I can't believe she even knew my name. I might have been staring at her, I'm not sure, but when she gave a little wave and dropped down from the bench, I peeked over my shoulder to see who she was really looking at. When she stopped in front of me and said my name, I damn near fainted. She smiled, I blushed, she talked, I stuttered, she wanted to go on the roller-coaster, my brain screamed no, but 'Sure,' come out.

I smile, trying hide the terror lurking in the depths of my gut, and then she caught a glimpse of the curving serpentine spine, arching high into the sky, and let loose a strangled sound of near-sexual joy.

"I love roller-coasters," she purrs into my ear, her warm breath kissing my skin.

"Me too," I lie, and force my smile a little wider.

Her grip on my arm tightens,  pulling it against the soft swell of her breast. I felt like making my own strangled sounds of bridled passion, but the band of fear around my chest keeps them at bay. With each step we take, the spiders web of timber struts grow in depth, breath, and height, until we stand in the shadow of my nightmarish nemesis, which looms above me like the sword of Damocles.  

From a covered section, a small train of carriages appears, clanking inch by inch up the near vertical incline, eventually reaching the highest point of the ride. Precariously balanced on the back of the serpent, the flimsy wagons stand proud, their excited passengers silent while the whole contraption pauses before plummeting headlong down the far side. A chorus of happy shrieks rents the air, steel wheels scream tortuously against the metal track, the rise and fall of the sound underlying each swoop loop and dive the captive merrymakers take. I followed their twisting progress as they rocketed around the flimsy construction, as the timbers take the weight of the passing conveyance, they groan, adding to the hellish noise. Once, twice, three times they go round, before the carriages eventually slow and stop. I look down and see the death grip I have on the barrier, my knuckles locked closed and white.

"Come on! It's our go now," she giggles, dragging me toward the ticket booth. She looks at me expectantly as I searched through my pockets for the double fair, and shove it across the silver ticket dispenser. Click, clack, click, clack, sings the machine before vomiting out two harmless pink stubs. I take them in shaking fingers, and passes them to a bored looking guy lounging on the gate. He made no effort to hide the leer in his eyes as he raked every crevice of my darlings body. I try not to notice the flick she gives her hair, or the extra bounce of her boobs as we walk toward the head of the line.

"I'm so excited," she squeals, while the same sleazebag ratchets the safety rail into position, his fist happening to fall squarely in her lap, her eyes falling squarely into his. After three good thrusts, he finally takes his filthy hand from the depths of her crotch and moves on to the next car. For a few moments, my rage makes me forget where I'm sitting, and the ordeal which lays ahead. When the car jolts forward, I'm soon reminded.

Soon, the nose of the car is pointing directly into the sky, like a rocket taking off in super slow motion, but I'm one hundred percent preoccupied with the five dainty digits clamped on the top of my thigh, a mere fraction from where I wished they were clamped. It wasn't until the sky vanished, and the ground rushed straight at me did my mind stray from that spot on my body. My hands shot forward and grabbed the rail on the front of the car and tried to become one with the steel. My eyes rattled in my head, my guts slid around inside my body, my feet went rigid with fear. Soon the wind drew a tear from my eye, mingling with the tears of terror that were flowing freely across my cheeks. That was when I saw it.

From the corner of my rattling streaming eye, I saw something fall away from under the railing on the far side of the roller-coaster. I whipped my head to the side but I lost sight of that point on the track, all I knew is that we were going in that direction. Frantically I searched the track ahead, trying to find what I had seen. When the car gave a little bounce I knew the shit had hit the fan. Something was wrong, something had broken, nothing was right. I heard a crack, and a splinter of timber just beneath the delighted screams of all those around me. I turned and tried to look back but all I could see was a field of waving arms and the voice inside my head bellowed "You're going to die!" 

That was when the real screaming started, my screaming. As we flashed through the loading tunnel, I waved frantically at the operator, who was leaning against the wall, leering at some new teenage girl that had caught his eye. I could feel the tissue of my voice box tear as I screamed "WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!" over and over again. I tried to jump out of the car, and felt her hands drag on mine with all her strength. As we came out of the second last loop, I saw it. Up ahead on the track was a dark stretch of nothing where shining steel should be.

"WE'RE FUCKED!" I managed to bellow as the darkness vanished under the front carriage. I ducked my head as low as I could, as if trying to kiss my own arse goodbye.

A fraction of a second passed, then another, then a full one, while the roller-coaster continued to roll and coast. The people around me were wide eyed and all looking in my direction. The train jolted, and began to slow. I glanced to my side and the most beautiful face in the world looked at me slack jawed.

As soon as the ride came to a stop, the safety bar sprang forward and I jumped from the car. I turned to help her out but she held her hands up in a way that yelled  'Don't touch me'.

I stood back as she got out of the car, and was shocked by the mask of revulsion she wore. Sure I had been a bit hysterical, but I had good reason after all. That was when I noticed her eyes were not looking at my face. As I looked down, I felt the moist denim shift on the skin of my leg, and knew what I was about to see. As she flounced away in a flurry of blond hair and embarrassment, the gathered crowd howled with laughter and pointed at my piss socked jeans.

I wish there was a better moral to this story than always speak your mind, never drink three cans of soda before taking your life in your hands and stay away from roller-coasters, they are the work of the devil.