Novel Opening: a University assignment from 2014 being brought to light

I could not move when I woke up. Forced to lay in the glare of white sun, sliced into pieces by the blinds over the windows. The rings on my fingers pushed hard into my teeth through the skin of my cheek. Murky waters, like a swamp, swished back and forth over my sticky eyes. The scene grew cleaner, the place growing more and more unfamiliar. My flesh felt as if it were a bag full of damp sand, and I did not kid myself that I would be exploring soon. I did not kid myself that things would turn out well from this. I ground my already grinding jaw some more, in hopes it would slip and snap and I would spill out, and all the grime and dirt would leave me. Dragging my skull across the cheap metal on my knuckles and the hot pillowcase, I dropped it over the side of the bed, and saw his black eyes twitching from behind their lids. In between the petrifying moments, sticking out like turrets through a mist, are these images of searing clarity. I find that my mind tries to erase most things, leaving just the pressure marks on paper behind, the faint idea of an idea. But moments of him are recorded in ink; ink on skin. When he lifted his stare from his bottle of Sol, choosing me from the rest. These are the dots that connect each loose line.

Let’s begin at dot number one – it is seven in the evening, mid-November, and it is cold and dark. Lucy and I are walking carefully down the metal steps of a rollercoaster ride’s exit. ‘Inferno’, eight corkscrews, five loops, no build up, abrupt ending. He stands over six foot tall with a cigarette in hand and bleached buzzcut, zipped into a chunky, nylon, khaki coat, a bit metallic, looking all over a bit sickly, almost done with living. He has a strong nose and sleepy eyes. He is waiting by the wall of one of those gravelly flowerbeds that seperates the theme park tarmac into curving pathways. Lucy slows down with me, to figure out what it is I am gaping at. “Molly”, she says, “he is gonna catch you looking!” I want him to, so much so, that I stop walking, to continue wondering, to properly wonder, at the figure glowing by the overflowing bin, lit up by the green and purple rollercoaster lights. The sounds of the screaming and the adrenaline-induced blasphemy, the deafening spin of rushing, shaking wheels, layered over indecipherable announcements from rusty tanoys like foreign tongues through radio noise – all together they weave themselves into a loud and perfect drone. Nothing can describe him except for that, devouring, simultaneously numbing and purging, terrifying and euphoric symphony.

Prose and featured image by Y.L.H.