Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bingo (A Sample)

A Sample From, "BINGO"


Claudia B. Modie


Simon Palmer




The houses were either boarded up or burnt out; the ones still occupied looked as if they should be condemned. Shopping trolleys littered the streets, almost like soldiers, guarding the smashed up cars joy riders had set fire to. Uncared for dogs roamed the streets, scavenging the over spilling dustbins in search of something to eat.

A gang of youths, the oldest looking no more than eleven, threw stones at an unfortunate cat, as it dared to prowl past them.

            “I can’t believe the state of this hellhole, I mean, it wasn’t exactly posh or anything when I lived here, but this, this is just awful. How can people live like this?” he pulled the two-seater sports car over and killed the engine.

“Here it is then,” he exclaimed, pointing towards a dilapidated house, “Number 47, the place I lived for the first 17 years of my life.”

The woman in the passenger seat, the man’s wife, looked towards the hovel of a home. Bed sheets hung crookedly at the downstairs windows, while the glazing upstairs was all but gone. Illegible graffiti added local clarity to the property, which was obviously being used as a crack den. The rotting corpse of a roast chicken sat in pride of place on the overgrown pathway.

“My god . . .  its making me feel unclean just looking at it!”

“Yeah, just think, if it wasn’t for that morning at school all those years ago, I could’ve  . . .  probably would’ve ended up in a dump like that. Sticking needles in me arm and drinking bleach I expect.” 

The two of them continued to stare in utter disbelief at their surroundings, the awkward silence disturbed by the sudden shrill of the woman’s mobile phone, “Janice Pickering, can I help?”

The man looked on, as his wife listened intently to what the caller was saying, until a haggard looking woman caught his eye.

            She seemed to stroll along the litter-strewn path oblivious to her surroundings, in a world of her own.

Although she was weighed down with shopping bags, it appeared her struggle had more to do with her legs than with what she was carrying.  On hearing the car door slam, she looked up to see a hefty middle-aged man coming towards her.

 “Get away from me you lump of fuckin’ shit!” she screeched, fear filling the lines of her weather beaten face.

“It’s ok . . . I’m not gonna hurt you . . . Bell, it is Bell isn’t it?”

The woman looked totally bemused, “What? Who are you?”

“Honestly, I’m not gonna hurt you . . . my names Jason, Jason Pickering,” he said, cautiously moving closer.

The old woman remained bemused, until, quite suddenly, the penny dropped, “Jabba?”

Jason grinned, “Yup, it’s me, Jabba.” His eyes welled with tears as he held out his arms. Bell moved quickly, her bags falling to the ground, the contents spilling out onto the already littered pavement.

She threw her bony arms around his neck and hugged him as if life depended on it, “Oh my Jabba, you came back . . . you always said you would.”

Once she released her grip and looked up into his face, her hand made a tremendous slapping sound as it connected with his cheek, “That’s for leaving it so long you little bastard!”

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