WWIn: Wasps and Jam

#Wednesday Write-in 13


shatter  ::  wasp  ::  fresh bread  ::  sorry  ::  singed

This is possibly Brian beginning the facebook clan. Visit Brian’s Page, part I to see the prologue.

Wasps and Jam

Brian had been scratching himself during the night again, he could feel the marks running across his lower body, crossing the spine and threading their scrawling way into the curve of his stomach. Sleeping in the car was speeding his descent into childhood habits. There was a long scribbling line of angry red running up his forearm and disappearing under the frayed cuffs of his shirt, green thin-striped fabric. He didn’t remember falling to sleep, he remembered watching the cars. He’d been waiting for them to do something, to sink, to fly, anything. Now he is awake in the clear pale air of an early autumn morning. If this were a normal working day he’d be on his way to Greggs, smelling the fresh bread and ordering his usual; cup of coffee and sausage roll. Just thinking of those sausage rolls he gets a craving for them. That flaky singed pastry crumbling around his lips, the greasy wedge of grey-brown meat.

Getting out of the car was the challenge. It seemed he’d spent his life negotiating the moment before pulling the handle and encountering the same dull reality, but today it was a stranger reality. The cars had been parked on the bridge for weeks like stranded alien ships. As if building a hive of metal bodies, the human wasps stung each other in frustration, stuttering around each cold cell. He hadn’t wanted to be part of it, he’d protected himself in the car, locking the doors, staying very still.

But, he was ready, he had his vision; he had facebook. He checked on his phone in his pocket, patting it to reassure himself. It’s small rectangular bulk nestled next to his leg. He took hold of the handle and opened the door. The cars near him are empty, their glass shattered. They must have belonged to the sinkers. People are gathered near the bridge edge, a woman sees him and raises her arm, waving. Brian walks over. They are a group of five, the woman is blond with a single long plait whose end is in her mouth. She seems to be chewing it, gnawing it. With her are two children and another woman who is being patted by a bored looking man. She has her head in her hands. He arrives in front of them. Welcome, he says, Brian has arrived, he ends his welcome. The man looks at Brian’s shirt. The woman lets her plait drop out of her mouth to her side. It bumps off her and leaves a wet smear near her left breast. Oh yes, it’s so good to see you get out of that thing. The woman says, smiling wide. She looks like a chocolate shop sales girl. She is wearing a bright pink top, now with a dark splodge of spit. Brian would like to know your names? Brian says. Why are you talking like that? One of the children is asking him. Its a girl child. He tries out smiling. Brian is representing facebook. Facebook is keeping track of the bridge, and Brian is update provider on the state of Brian’s emotions as and when he experiences them. Oh. The child looks at the ground. The other one is a boy-child. Brian makes eye contact with the boy-child and smiles at him, he scowls in return. Oh god, we’ve stopped calling it that. The woman interjects. We call it Desert. It’s bad luck to say, she mouths, the bridge, anymore. The man shrugs. Brian is sorry, Brian says. Oh it’s okay, she smiles again. Brian is very very sorry. Brian is sorry. Sorry, sorry, Brianissorry hashtag. He realises they are all staring at him, even the woman has lifted her head up from her hands. She looks terrible. Brain swallows, wets his lips. Brian must calm down, he says, but very low so only he can hear.


7 thoughts on “WWIn: Wasps and Jam

  1. the greasy wedge of grey-brown meat = great, I could see it and wanted to eat it even if the image was a little disgusting.

    I’m intrigued and will have to go back and read the other entries., Nicely done.

  2. Becca this is really creepy, in a good way! As some people are already speaking in hashtags Brian’s facebook talk doesn’t seem so far away! Another great installment 🙂

  3. Ha ha I also found myself craving a sausage roll, a hark back to my non-vegetarian days. Not much makes me want to eat meat these days, so that particularly stuck with me. I’m loving reading the pieces about Brian and once again I am taken by your very unique style. It seems a commentary on how absurdly attached we are to technology (she says with facebook and gmail open in the background), whether intended or not. And all this could have been summed up in one word: Awesome.

  4. “rectangular bulk nestle” conveys so well the comfort technology gives him. The imagery is fantastic and the story unnerving. well done.

  5. Aaaugugh sausage roll, that image works so well. It’s that guilty mix of disgusting/delicious that we cannot resist. I really love the section when he starts talking to them, and how worringly real it begins to seem.

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