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The Room Peels

After a doze he feels shabby, his lips have a slight glue between them, as do his eyelids. The voice has recalled him. It seems to belong to the room. Phrases come chopped with long silences. Infantile. Bubbly but thin. 'Spi-der', 'comin' up', 'sun kill'. The words make the deepest sense to him, seem to come from his past and his future at once.

The voice moves inside him.

It is so damp, matches won't light, and the electrics fizz. In the bathroom plaster slides to the floor. Doors buckle, walls bulge. He sinks in. The window at the end shows a lump of black air. He can't seem to move, his limbs hurt.

Dust and dregs accumulate; the room peels its layers. His mind goes. It breaks like a dam and the release is heaven. The smile of his father, green drenched trees, birds of fluff and death are in it, a baby batting away visitors. He slides down, not quite dead, a trace of his mind, that voice, in the stained air when the kids break in.

Story by:

Alan Beard


8 November 2016