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Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Before reading this I would like to say that it's unedited and the result of twenty minutes of rattling out a rough story.
It's guerrilla writing and of the moment.
So there you go. Get in about it. :) 

Panic and fear have a smell.
Everyone knows it.
Even if they don’t immediately think they do.
It's a combination of sweat, piss, and something metallic that's reminiscent of the taste of blood.
I know all about it as right now I am fucking panicking and shitting myself in fear.
In a matter of seconds I have become an expert in what terror smells like.
I reek of it.
I’m soaked in sweat and my heart is beating at a rate that doesn't seem physically possible to maintain.
At any second the pressure of the blood pumping through it will reach a critical stage and it could explode leaving the contents of my rib cage ravaged by the force generated outwards.

All I can do is force myself to focus on breathing deeply and I cling to the sound of the air easing in and out of my lungs as internally I try to talk myself down from the ledge that I feel that I am mentally swaying on.

The main reason that I am so terrified is as simple one.
I don’t know what the fuck is happening.

My last memory was of drinking champagne and laughing at a terrible joke that some young rising star of the Conservative party was sharing with a party of banking executives of which I am one and the next wakening up in absolute darkness bound to a chair.

I can’t move, or even draw in anything from the blank emptiness of my surroundings, and that is quite frankly freaking me out, and when I say absolute darkness I mean the absolute absence of light.
There is nothing that allows me to gauge distance and it’s terrifyingly discombobulating.
I could be sitting on a chair suspended hundreds of feet in the air, or in box buried so deep down that I will never be found.

Initially I told myself that I was the victim of a joke being played on me and the rising hysteria was easily dampened down, but when no answer came to my outwardly calm request to be untied, or at very least to turn a light on, it began to dawn on me that I wasn’t the victim of just another Bullingdon practical joke.
Like the time they invited that homeless guy to a party and fed him quail laced with a laxative all night, and then left him lying in a pool of his own faeces outside Theresa Mays London flat.
Now that was funny, but this isn’t.
Not funny at all.

It’s hard to work out how much time has elapsed, but I know that I am incrementally losing degrees of rationality with every second that passes.
I’m clinging on, but I can feel my sanity slipping away as I start shouting, screaming, for help again.

“You can stop the caterwauling”

The voice seems to come from all around me and is very obviously electronically disguised.
With just five words quite casually delivered my anus spasms and I very nearly literally shit myself.

“No one can hear you.”

Peering into the void around me I still can’t see anything.

“Look I’ve got money and I’m quite an important sort of guy. So let’s talk about what is going on here and I am sure that we can come to some sort of arrangement”

Seconds stretch out and all I can hear is my own ragged breathing.

Minutes must have slipped away and just as I start to think that I imagined it he speaks again.

“You’re not a very nice fella. You do know that don’t you?”

Instead of answering straight away I close my eyes as if that makes any sort of difference and try and think who would do this to me, what enemies I have accrued over the years, and why this is happening.
I’m getting nothing.
I don’t even know what he means about not being a nice fella.
I work hard, support a wife and a couple of kids, respect my colleagues, have a close circle of friends and for fucks sake I even maintain a mistress in a style that would exclude her from bitching.
There’s no one that would bear a grudge and this is ludicrous.

“I think you may have the wrong person. I’m serious. I don’t think I am the man who you have a problem with.”


“Yes Really. I’m no one. I work in banking.”

“That’s interesting. You are no one, but also an important man. An oxymoron wrapped in a conundrum then. Is it correct that in 2003 you negotiated a three million pound settlement deal and a favourable pension plan to leave a company that was in ruins?”
“Do I have the wrong person? Did you leave behind you men and women who lost everything? Their employment, their pensions and in some cases their homes?”

There’s no mistake. It comes crashing in that there is no mistake, and with that I know that this isn’t going to go well as I feel more sweat trickle down my back as I croak out “That’s just business. There’s nothing personal about that.”

It sounds pathetic to my ears because it matters now.

“In 2006 you took over the running of an account for a multinational company and in doing so reduced the tax they paid to the UK from one point five percent to zero. Is that correct?

I don’t know what to say, but he goes on before I can even consider a response.

“It’s 2013 now and they have never paid a single penny in tax since you offered your financial advice. Is this correct?”

“Yes, but you have to understand that there is no malice involved in that sort of thing. It’s just how the world works. I’m just a small cog in a very big machine. You must see that”

“Some are saying the machine you are a cog in isn’t working, but it seems to be running smoothly for you. Is that a fair comment?”

I don’t know how to answer this and stammer that “this is the world we live in and we all have to do our best to get by and…..”
“it’s a world that you have helped to maintain as it benefits you.”

There’s something in the tone of the voice that sounds as if it is a sentence being handed down.

“As the global banking crisis decimated the livelihoods of literally millions of people have you financially benefited from this?
Yes or No?”

Something inside me snaps and I spit out “Fuck you. Who are you to judge me? Who are you to fuckin’ ask me anything? You holier than thou wanker hiding in the dark asking me your inane questions. Go and  fuck yourself.”

With a click a light goes on and about twelve feet away sitting directly in front of me is a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, the assumed badge of the anonymous movement.

“Ha. You fuckin’ wanker. Isn’t there a lecture you should be at? Some protest about the homeless that needs your attention. Shouldn’t you be filling out an appeal so you can hang onto some shit benefit? Now get off your lazy arse and untie me as this has went on far enough”

For a second I am quite pleased with myself. The danger of the unknown has passed and all this time I’ve been sitting shitting myself for nothing.  
Relief is flooding through me when he says “You have options available to you. I’ve been speaking to a great many people and they think that you should either be stood against a wall or hung from a lamppost.”

Laughing now I can barely get out “who do you think you are?” before he slips the mask off.

“But you’re a comedian, an ex junkie, a fuckin hippy.”

“Yes my dear.
You have me bang to rights as I am indeed all that you say. I’m a comedian who has had enough.
A tired ex junkie and a hippy who believes with all his heart in free love and shagging.
You are here because when I had my little rant in the papers and on the television the main response was the throng throwing back at me that I was drawing attention to a problem without offering a solution.
They were right.
I was flapping my thesaurus at them and flouncing around as a disenchanted revolutionary, but deep down I knew I was right, and as they say ‘actions do speak louder than words’ and here we are now.
So what is it?
A bullet or the noose?
Now listen closely matey.
There is no punchline to this.

It’s time to pay the piper you obnoxious self entitled sack of shit.’


  1. Haaa ... love that!! Damn good!!!

    You really should write more, as I've told you before ... you have a style, and a nice flow of thought that is very engaging

    More please!!

    Can I suggest an alternative title?

    "Brand X"

  2. Oh, I do like that, but maybe it would give the end away.
    I've got a few stories that need editing and messed about with a bit, plus a bunch of ideas and I've started on a novel.
    Most of the short stories are very dark.
    Sort of a boot in the balls tales of the unexpected thing going on.
    Now that I am no longer at Pivo doing the booking I can set some time aside.

  3. nice work man, a great read! More of that would be good, if you bring out a book of short stories, i'm a buyer!

  4. That's on the cards Jamie. Probably early new year.