Dear Diary, 2019

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Dear Diary,

I looked around the small kitchen, surprised at the mess a small New Year’s Eve party of people could make. There were abandoned plastic cups and glasses lying about almost the reminds of plastic plates of food.

The lingering of smell of burnt sausage rolls clung in the air. I went across and opened the window. It was almost lunchtime and the dapple of sunlight had cleared the touch of frost that had appeared around 2 or 3 AM. I touched my head, still pounding with a migraine and breathed the chilly air in.

The will to start tidying up was strong but I didn’t think my body would let me. I opened the cupboard, dug around until I found the last clean cup at the back and I got some cold water from the tap. I had all ready taken some pain killers and it was too soon to take anymore. A little food might help but I couldn’t even think about that now. I finished the water, got some more and went back up to bed.

There I snuggled back down, sipping the water and waiting to feel better. My thoughts were fuzzy at first but then I started to recall bits of the party.

Someone, probably, Annie’s boyfriend, which was just a normal thing for him, had brought a blow up sex doll and the men had all had a great time messing around with that and being rather crude. I at last had, had enough.

I took the safety pin out of the hem of my nineties themed mini dress and popped the doll and whilst Emily distracted them all by showing off her huge boobs, which was just typical of her to do something like that, especially after a few drinks and a little nudge from me.

‘Lookie here boys! Check out these real puppies!’ she had shouted then pulled the neon pink tube top she was wearing up.

Heads had turned, voices shouted in joy. I had dumped the doll back on the sofa and sneaked off.

I smiled and reflected how good that had been.

The idea of a nineties themed party hadn’t been mine but Linda’s who was still celebrating her thirtieth birthday which had been two days previously. Right now, she would be waiting for plane to take her to New York. I wish I was going on holiday! I could barely afford my rent right now though and was out of my head with trying to find a new housemate or two.

I so don’t want to think about that right now, so back to the party and what else had happened?

More people had arrived then planned, friends bring friends and people who said they weren’t coming but then did anyway! I had made sure to ask everyone to bring drinks and food with them, so we had more then enough of that.

My few drinks before everyone arrived kicked in and I shared a few cocktails with my girls. Then I served up the food and was happy to watch everyone tuck in. It was all shop brought stuff, I’d had no time to make anything but no one seemed to care.

Then there was dancing and talking and meeting people and just fun moments. Some had knocked over the Christmas tree, someone else had almost flood the bathroom by blocking the sink and letting the tap run. I think at one point someone had come in carrying a cat they had run over which actually turned out to be someone’s fluffy hat!

Getting drunk and dancing to nineties classic songs like we were teenagers again. We had been singing so loud that a few dogs had started barking their heads off! Then some sensible, probably, geeky Nicky, had turned the music off and told us the party was over.

I had felt super hungry and decided to see what food was left. I found some sausage rolls and put them in the oven. Then people had been leaving, taxis had been coming and going, everyone was hugging and kissing me, then Sally had tripped and hurt her ankle. Ice was needed then her husband said he would take her to hospital as we didn’t know if she had broken it or not. She was making enough noise for it to seem so!

Then Nicky came rushing in, ‘I think something is burning in the kitchen!’

I had spring up and rushed in to find Linda opening the oven and pulling out a tray with black stuff on it.

‘I forgot those!’ I cried.

We had laughed and Linda had thrown them outside.

I don’t remember coming to bed, but I must have done around 3 or 4 AM.

It had been a good party and a great way to start the New Year. Now, my migraine has cleared I should go and tidied up.

The Devil is Watching You (Part 2)

Ray let Shane through the second he heard the intercom buzz. Letting his finger drop from the button, he paced the space in front of the door and waited for his best friend to come up to the twelfth floor in the old lift. Ray rubbed his hands together and tried not to let his thoughts gush out of his mouth. His stomach withered and he felt like he had swallowed a live snake.

A tap, tap, tap, came from the door and Ray hurriedly unlocked it and threw it open. Shane’s massive bulk stood before him and Ray felt some relief at seeing the former heavier weight boxer before him.

‘You have to see this,’ Ray blurted and let him in.

Shane inched through the doorway, keeping his meaty hands by his side whilst his dark blue eyes flickered around the hallway. He was wearing black steel capped boots, dirty jeans and a scruffy t-shirt which his body bulged out of. Faded tattoos ran up both his arms and his heavy beaten up face looked concerned.

‘The bedroom,’ Ray added.

Shane cocked an eyebrow, ‘some whore you found?’

‘No, no,’ Ray shook his head quickly, ‘just look.’

He guided Shane to the bedroom door and swung it open. They both looked in and saw the devil gargoyle still on the bed. Shane walked in slowly, the floorboards creaking a little under him. Ray wringing his hands followed him like a guilty old dog until they were both stood by the edge of the bed.

‘What is it?’ Shane whispered having taken in the massive curved shape of the gargoyle’s naked buttocks.

‘A stone statue…I woke up next to it. I’ve no idea how it got here…what happened last night?’ Ray replied in a hushed voice.

‘You got pissed. That’s what happened. And somehow you must a taken this….’

‘How? It’s pure stone. It’s heavy.’

Shane shrugged his enormous shoulders and ran his fingers down his hairless chin.

‘Look, forget it,’ Ray snapped, ‘just help me to get rid of it.’

‘All right,’ Shane responded and moved around the bed.

‘We’ll lift it between us and get it outside. Find a place to dump it…maybe take it to that old graveyard. Did you bring your van?’ Ray added.

‘Yeah, o’ course. But look, this has to be worth something…’

Shane reached out a hand and touched the cold stone. It felt smooth under his fingers though he could feel flecks brushing off it. He looked at the deep set forever watching eyes and the mighty curling horns placed either side oblong ears. He felt himself oddly drawn to the statue. He wrapped his fingers around one of the legs and found that he couldn’t get his hand all the way around.

‘What?’ Ray mumbled back.

‘I mean, you’d have to find the right person…but I’ve seen these things. They can sell for hundreds o’ pounds. And this one…we could do it…I’d just need to find someone.’

‘Are you serious? No way, no way! We are dumping that shit right now. Come on, help me lift it,’ Ray yelled and went to grab the gargoyle.

Shane slapped as hands away and lent over the bed like a lion with a fresh kill.

‘Stay away!’ he roared.

Ray recoiled, his back hitting the wall as he clutched both his hands together, ‘what the fuck mate?’ he spit. ‘Are you crazy? Please, Shane, please!’

‘It’s all right. I’m good,’ Shane said and got backwards off the bed. The springs creaked loudly, the only other sound in the room beside from their laboured breathing.

Shane, hands out walked around to Ray and joined him against the wall.

‘I need a drink,’ he said.

‘Me too, but something stronger then coffee,’ Ray pointed out.

He walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, aware that Shane had followed him and closed the doors between them and the statue. Ray searched the fridge then the cupboards and came up with some cheap Russian vodka and Morgan’s rum. He placed them on the counter and found some tumbler glasses.

‘That all you got?’ Shane asked.

‘Yeah. Sorry,’ Ray answered.

‘No beer?’

‘No. I’ve not been shopping in a while. Pay cut ‘n’ all.’

‘Even more reason to sell that thing.’

Ray shook his head and poured some vodka into the glasses, ‘no. We need to dump it. I won’t be locked away because of stolen goods again.’

Shane rolled his eyes and grabbed a glass. The vodka sloshed around then was gone into his large mouth. He swallowed loudly and pulled a disgusted face.

Ray took a large gulp of his own, tasted fire and had to take another mouthful to try and chase it away. The heat flared through him. He finished off the vodka and went to pour himself another. He felt Shane’s hand pressing against his own as he reached for the bottle.

‘We can get drunk later,’ Shane rumbled. ‘Let’s move that thing.’

Ray nodded and they headed back to the bedroom, stomachs hot with vodka and fear.

Shane opened the door with his boot and strolled in like he owned the place.

‘You go around and push him off,’ Shane suggested, ‘I’ll take most of the weight.’

‘Sure, sure,’ Ray rushed and ran around the bed.

He knelt down and waited till Shane had got in a lowered position, before he tried to shove the statue off the bed. He felt cold, gritty stone bite into his skin and the weight of the thing was unmoveable. Ray gasped and really threw his back into it. He heard Shane grunting and felt a small tremble of movement.

‘How’d you lift this thing yourself?’ Shane growled.

‘No idea,’ Ray puffed back, ‘are you ready? I’m really going for it this time!’ Move you fucking piece of-’

The gargoyle slide off the bed and Shane barely caught it. Ray saw his friend’s face and arm muscles straining and sweat breaking on his forehead. Quickly, he swung off of the bed and took the other side, his hands almost laying on top of Shane’s. Together and speechlessly, they heaved the statue up and crab like walked to the bedroom door.

‘Fucking Hell,’ Shane gasped.

‘Go backwards, like a sofa,’ Ray suggested.

He tried to peer over the bulky stone body, but could only see Shane’s red folded wrinkle brow and more beads of sweat. Ray heard Shane’s feet rasping across the carpet and the tug of weight in his hands. He followed slowly behind, trying to get his hands to keep their grip. They made it out of the bedroom door and along the hallway.

‘I got to… I needed too…’ Shane’s voice came out of the heavy breathing.

‘We can’t…’ Ray responded then his eyes flicked to the door, ‘Oh, shit the door. Okay, Okay. Let’s put it down.’

‘Where?’

‘The floor?’

‘We’ll never get it up again.’

‘I’ll think of something!’ Ray shouted.

‘Lower it then,’ Shane countered back,

Slowly, they lowered the gargoyle to the floor then collapsed along with it. Ray sprawled out, loving the coldness against his hot sweaty back. He put his arms up, stretching them and feeling achy pains running like rats under his skin. He shut his eyes and drew in the deepest breaths he had ever taken in. He could hear Shane doing the same on the other side of the statue and guessed they were having the same thoughts worming into their minds.

After a good few minutes, Ray pulled himself up and moved across the floor to check on Shane. The man looked asleep, but his eyes crept open as Ray hung over him.

‘I think we’re going to need more help,’ Shane’s dry voice muttered.

‘No one else can know,’ Ray replied in a low voice, ‘We can’t trust anyone. Look, let’s have some more vodka and get something to eat.’

Shane nodded and eased himself up.

Ray got to his feet and walked painfully into the kitchen, ‘I got some pot noodles, soup, left over curry,’ he called over his shoulder. ‘I’ll make us some coffee too.’

‘Sounds good to me,’ Shane answered back.

Ray made two pot noodles and two large mugs of coffee. They sat together on the sofa, watching mid-afternoon TV shows and staying silent. When they were done, Ray dumped everything in the kitchen then came back with the tumblers of vodka. This time he had filled them to the top. They tapped glasses and drink the acid like liquid in large gulps.

‘Okay,’ Ray said into his glass, ‘Here’s the plan. I’ll open the door and call the lift. Then we get the statue out of here and into there and then take it down and out of here.’

Shane nodded.

Ray placed his glass down, opened his door and walked out into the empty short corridor. He pressed the lift’s cracked plastic button and hurried back again. He took his place by the statue, thankful to see Shane standing on the other side.

‘On three, lift?’ Shane asked.

‘Yep.’

They bent down, keeping their backs straight and locked their hands against the gargoyle once more. They lifted, both feeling the weight like they hadn’t before and believing the stone had become glued to the floor. Somehow, they were able to balance it between them and carry the devil into the lift.

‘Oh God, there’s no space to put it down!’ Shane exclaimed.

‘It’s crushing my ribs,’ Ray almost screamed back. ‘Hit the button.’

With a swift movement, Shane hit the large ‘G’ labelled disc and the doors shut.

‘Can’t you just move it?’

‘Where too? There’s no space,’ Shane snapped back.

Ray shuffled his feet and tried to get the corner away from him, but he was wedged against the lift wall and the side of the statue. He shut his eyes and tried to stay calm. At last, he heard a warning ping and the doors sliding open.

To Be Continued…

The Devil is Watching You (Part 1)

The devil gargoyle was ugly. Though his version was boarding on double, Ray could clearly see it.

‘You is ug-ly, my friend,’ he said with the words stretching and slurring.

He lumbered over, almost falling into the wall.

The devil grinned down at him.

‘What’s so funny?’

Reaching the statue, Ray stumbled and his hand fell across cold, damp stone. A wave of shock echoed at the back of his head. Looking, he saw there was a red graze across his palm.

‘You’re in trouble now, you freak!’

Ray threw a wobbly punch, only hitting the air.

Glaring angrily, Ray wrapped his massive arms around the gargoyle. With a groan, he tried to pull the statue off the wall. It came away, but with great difficulty. Ray staggered backwards, his muscles screaming. A stone corner poking him in the chest, made him feel like he was drowning. The devil’s face leered into him and he thought a curling horn brushed the top of his head.

A small voice called to him to put the thing down. For some reason though, he seemed not to be able too. He took a small step forward then another. Slowly, he shuffled down the street.

*

 Ghoulish light stroked the thin curtains as Ray shifted in his bed. Dimly, he was aware that someone was occupying the space to his right. He moaned loudly, fighting conciseness away and failing as his bladder went off. Struggling through the treacle of the bed and his head, he stumbled out from his room and into the apartment’s bathroom.

Having sorted himself out, Ray wobbled back to his nest. Laying down again, hot and sweaty, he felt something hard poke his knee. Frowning, still in his foggy state, he flipped the duvet over. A cockeyed grin and hard staring eyes jolted him awake, making him scream and scramble to get purchase on the bed. He fell off and landed heavily against the wall and bed stand table.

‘Fucking hell! What the fuck?’ he roared.

Dazed, he detangled himself from the sheet and climbed up the wall. His chest was heaving with breaths he wasn’t sure he was even taking and his heart was heavy drum beating in his ears. He dug his fingernails into the wall and looked across the bed.

The stone devil gargoyle looked at him like an expecting and eager hooker. Its’ head was resting on a very flat pillow whilst it’s mighty curling horns touched the headboard. His body was huge, far too muscular and an off grey colour in this light. The four long thick legs ran down and ended mighty paws with sharp talons digging into a square block.

Ray fought for breath, but still felt like someone was holding him under sticky water. He fled the room, almost tripping on the disregarded bedding and falling into the door frame. He locked the door of the bathroom behind him and ran the shower. He stepped into the tub and sink down, tears crowding his eyes and blubbering sounds coming from his lips.

He brought his knees to his chest, arms wrapped tightly around them and started rocking. A wave of questions and his own voice called out in the sludge of his mind. He tried to hold it together, but he felt too sick. An acid burb caught in his throat and without thinking, he cupped the hot shower water and drank it down.

The burn didn’t go away. He threw up the water then the rest of his stomach contents. He watched everything swirling around his feet and tickling his toes before gargling down the plug hole. He felt better. He washed and felt better still. Finally, he got out and cocooned himself in towels.

Ray wiped the small mirror down and peered into it. The red face staring back at him wasn’t his. He scrubbed the glass again and looked harder. Dark brown eyes looked dopey at him from hollowed sockets and the matching eyebrows were slack. His forehead was rolling with creases, but at least his nose still had to small bends in it. Thick black stubble covered the lower half of his face and he rubbed a hand gingerly over it.

‘I shaved last night,’ he mumbled, ‘It looks like I’ve aged forty years…’

He switched his hand to his black spiky hair and felt thankful it was still all there. Putting the mirror back, he looked at his hands and saw they were covered in small scratches. Flipping them over, he saw deep red lines across his palms as if he had slashed his skin with a knife. Ray shook his hands and tightened his towels.

He went into the kitchen and made himself a strong coffee. He turned the TV on, more for comforting noise than anything else. He sat on the sofa, holding his steaming mug and the control in the other hand. He channelled flicked, but there was nothing interesting in the boring Saturday lunchtime programs. He settled on the news and drank his coffee whilst trying to put his mind back together.

Resting against the sofa arm, Ray thought about taking some painkillers. Shaking his head instead, he made a bed out of the towels and cushions, finished his coffee and took a nap. The dull drones of the TV voices sing him to sleep and he couldn’t keep his heavy eyes open any longer. A painful headache whacked across his brow and caused his cyclone of thoughts to be dark with agony.

A brilliant ringing shot him out of sleep and Ray fumbled around for the source of the noise. His head throbbed and his limbs flung around, unsure where to locate the intruder. The ringing stopped and breathlessly, he did too. Wild eyed he looked around, but couldn’t hear or see anything. He slumped back on the sofa and held a hand to his head as if that would stop the piercing pain.

My phone! That’s all it was!

Scrambling up, he tore through his apartment, before creeping into his bedroom. With down cast eyes, he crept in and searched for his clothes. Luckily, he located his jeans at the end of the bed and was able to sneak out again. Closing the door with his foot, he dug through his pockets and pulled out his phone.

The display showed he had three miss texts and two miss calls. Dumping his jeans on the sofa, he looked through the messages and calls. It was only his friends wanting to know where he was and what had happened.

Ray called his best friend back and at a blasted, ‘hallo?’ Ray whispered back in a shaky voice, ‘You need to come over here and see this.’

To Be Continued…

Postcard #6

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