After 9 days I let my mind run free

No matter how many times we storm the tower who we are can’t be rescued. Filligan let the thin line of blood run across his fingers before turning up his collar, ‘How long do we have left?’

‘You were out for 5.23 minutes,’ if there was any remorse Bastian didn’t show it, ‘which will reduce our time considerably.’

‘It’s still long enough.’

‘I’m curious,’ Bastian barred Filligan’s way, ‘the marks on your skin?’

‘We need to get moving.’

‘I would call them self harm, but considering the length of your arms and the angles required, it would be impossible to burn yourself with a cigarette like that.’

‘I can do the rest of this without you.’ Filligan pushed Bastian aside and picked up his bag, ‘It only needed two of us to break the lock.’

‘What’s your story I wonder?’

‘I have no story.’

‘Oh, my dear friend, we all have a story,’ Bastian grabbed the flashlight from the top of the cabinet and followed his companion along the corridor, ‘and I can assure you that everyone begs to tell it in the end.’

‘Spare me the serial killer rhetoric.’ Filligan tapped a series of numbers into a keypad and pulled open the iron door. He paused, ‘Once we get down there, you take what you want, I take what I want, there will be no questions asked on either side.’

‘I do believe that is the agreement.’ Bastian watched him disappear into the darkness at the bottom of the stairs. He hadn’t hesitated, he hadn’t acclimatised himself, he hadn’t even used a torch. It was almost like he’d been in the room before.

Bastian stood for a moment, finding the flavour of his reaction. There were whispers here, an everyday of fimilarity. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Lucifer was made in the image of man and even the stairs had something to say about his decent.

He flicked his torch around the concrete grey of the unpleasant room. A row of old filing cabinets. A set of wooden crates. Half a dozen boxes. Books. More books. Bottles. Oil paintings all stacked up against each other. A table. A bed. A set of wax crayons. A clock drawn on the wall.

Filligan had his back to the stairs. Crouched low. A ragged breath in the stolen light. There was a slow way of cooking that infused meat with everything that had gone before. Bastian turned out the torch and took the darkness into his lungs. This partnership wasn’t just about forging out a profitable business. For all his secrecy, this young man was leaving behind a trail of breadcrumbs that Bastian found impossible to resist.


©2017 Jac Forsyth


Part 1 – I’ll slip into something more comfortable
Part 2 – Just depends what sort of mood I’m in.
Part 3 – It’s not like we stood in line fore this
Part 4 – That first cut is always so damn sweet
Part 5 – After 9 days I let my mind run free





That first cut is always so damn sweet

Bastian Celeste walked his fingers over the casing of miniature drawers. There had been a time when a studio fitting like this would have been a show of status all by itself, but these relics of mahogany and brass were frowned on as much as ivory now.

He slid the first drawer open,  ‘You know, I often think that the 20th century and I would have got on rather well.’

‘A century that gave us genocide, atomic revenge and Margaret Thatcher.’ Filligan eased himself into the gap between the walls, ‘I think they’d have named a tube station after you and put your face on their banknotes.’

Bastian shook his head, reaching for the button tucked up inside the roof of the drawer, ‘The 20th century was all about humans trying to be gods.’ he flicked a sarcastic glance at his companion, ‘Now we just make them in our own image.’ He closed the drawer and moved onto the next one, pulling it half out and then pushing it back in again, ‘Power was and always will be an addiction, and where there’s an addiction there’s a lucrative living to be made in solutions.’

‘I thought you didn’t care about money?’

‘Who said anything about money?’ Bastian opened and closed a line of drawers, down and across, before stepping away. He began counting backwards from ten.

‘There are other safe zones,’ Filligan pushed himself against the back wall as Bastian snuggled into the alcove next to him.

Bastian slithered closer, ‘Four. I don’t even need to be in here, I had a noise cancelling patch fitted two years ago. Three. I just like how uncomfortable this makes you feel.’

‘You’re a complete arsehole.’

‘Of that there is no doubt.’ he nudged Filliagn, ‘Oh, and zero.’

‘Godamn…’ Filligan made a valiant attempt at throwing his hands over his ears before passing out.

Bastian patted his companion’s shoulder, allowing him to slide gently to the floor. Then pulling a delicately carved pill box from his top pocket, he raked through the contents with his little finger and shut the box again, this time opening it along a concealed hinge and exposing a lower compartment which was empty except for a plastic lining and a miniature knife. Bastian picked the blade out carefully, twisting it and rolling it along his fingers as he crouched down and pulled Filligan’s hair away from his neck, inhaling the sweetness of it, ‘Oh, Filligan Platt, now you’re just playing with me.’

He flipped the blade between his thumb and forefinger, savouring a final breath before cutting a neat set of parallel lines at the base of the young mans neck. Then he slid the blade along the length of the cuts and pulled the thin strip of skin free.

Bastian held it up to the light and smiled, winding it around his little finger several times before placing it into the pill box along with the knife, ‘I’m a bad man, my friend, but then you knew that before you signed up.’


I meant to post this on Friday but ended up in hospital instead. My whole week has been shot to pieces, but Bastian Celeste remains. I’m gonna have a drive around over the next few days, see what all you peeps have been up to without me.

Part 1 – I’ll slip into something more comfortable
Part 2 – Just depends what sort of mood I’m in.
Part 3 – It’s not like we stood in line fore this
Part 4 – That first cut is always so damn sweet
Part 5 – After 9 days I let my mind run free

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Third Thursday

SHE Coffee Lounge, Trowbridge. 7.30pm
Good Coffee & Good Company
Phil Huston, Extemporaneous Poetry and Bongos Award

TPRS 3rdThursday poster hobbit.jpg

“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit