Writing Activity

Use a line from a film as inspiration for a short piece of writing.
American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman:

“I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don’t know why.”

With those words firmly etched in my mind, I opened my eyes to an incredible light. The sound of the rapidly halting tyres was like the bellowing roar of a thousand people. I had played it through a hundred times. But that fucking tepid heat! How irritating, it made my skin crawl. I couldn’t be seen to be flustered; to the contrary I was quite the opposite! Something as pathetic as weather having that kind of control, it’s nauseating. The light grew larger as it neared, and I could see nothing but this. In the spotlight, as planned. My performance was about to begin.

Why was I doing it? Because it was satisfying. To see if I could. To affirm dominance. Because of those vile, cretinous peasants undeservedly expressing their self-admiration so publically. Money. Glory. Respect.

They are NOT better than me!

I had been waiting there, past Tippin Farm Vineyards and just before Broadmayne and Weir, for fifty seven minutes and twenty seven seconds at this point. Thirty two minutes longer than I should have been. I mean what had he been doing? How can people be so fucking disorganised? The heat was a matador. I was a bull. The muscles along my neck and shoulders tightened. Head tilted, and eyes up, my motionless face would have been all he saw at that very moment. So close. The anti-locking brake system was pounding beneath the custom alloys, louder and closer, and those expensive sports callipers Mr Peterson, those wonderful, lavish, expensive callipers Mr Peterson, well… it looks like they might just save your life now doesn’t it. I stepped to the left. The Aston stopped two, maybe three inches before the verge of the abrupt incline.

I pigeon toed the skid marks. Slow enough to avoid debris touching my Zegna. I was a god. My reflection; triumphant, confident… Powerful!

Five, I ran my finger along the side of the Aston. That regal blue, pristine paintwork felt like silk.

Four, I exhaled contempt. He knew now.

Three, the fingers of my left hand wrapped one by one around the handle of the nearside door.

Two, I filled my lungs with spite. The muzzle tilted and poised.

One, Tap… Tap… Tap.

The electronic whir of the window winding down was heard over the ticking of the cooling engine. His face was a vision. The fright it displayed and the whites of his eyes were compelling. Appeased and composed with my lips pursed to say… but Mr Peterson interrupted. That self-indulgent, self-gratifying, abortion spoke before me. His face contorted as he grit his forty grand teeth. “Boy, you better have one hell of a damn good reason why you…” The words hurtled out of his mouth along with the puss he sprayed onto the custom leather. It was pure abuse of perfection. He was spitting like a rabid dog. The valet will remove his scum. He paused when he caught sight of my Smith and Western. Only a glimpse, but a glimpse enough. Then I saw it. “Well aren’t you pathetic” I said. I hadn’t so much as blinked since we had been facing each other. He recoiled and returned trepid. Checkmate. My intrepidity gained the advantage. It was time to present the situation for what it was. The heat was now intense.

This is how I began:

“Mr Peterson, you are going to die, and to some degree, it’s your decision how and when. Right now…” I said, not quite breaking a smile “…is a good opportunity for you to consider it. In this space, this space between you and I…” I exhaled, inhaled, and moved the muzzle through the space. “…there is nothing you can use to defend yourself if you so choose to try. Now, here’s the thing. I will be taking this car. This is not a question, you do not have to answer, or speak. God forgive me if you speak, if you interrupt me again.” I paused, recomposed and exhaled. “Mr Peterson, you will die. And you will most likely die of gout, or obesity, or of liver failure.”

Mr Peterson’s gaze was intense and fixated. He was frozen. It was outstanding. I continued.

“This is what is going to happen. You are going to get out of the vehicle. You’re going to turn around, and walk down that hill. If in any way you resist or attempt to fight me, you will lose and you will die. And if you look back, I will shoot you in the face.”

The heat had began to displace my composure at that point. Pearls of sweat cascaded down my face like mountain geese leaving the nest for the first time. I tried to ignore it, but that mother fucker had the heated fans on. I lost my cool for a moment “And why the fuck have you got the fans on? Are you deranged?” There was no movement from Mr Peterson. Not a fraction. And after an intensely long three seconds he smiled, cocked his head and said “Hell is hot Boy.”

Just a few seconds, that’s all it took for him to make a decision. Mr Peterson was going to die. I saw his thumb twitch, once, twice. The light was reflecting off of his platinum cufflinks. Three… Mr Peterson had made a correct assumption. My vision was still slightly distorted from the lights and he used this to gain the advantage. He positioned his wrist so that the light beamed directly into the back of my eye, and as it entered he thrust his hand through mine, gripping the chamber and positioning his thumb so that the trigger could not be pulled. I remained static. It would be another four or five seconds before I could regain my vision. My move.

“Do you think that will save you Mr Peterson?” I whispered, not attempting to look at him. I had already made an assessment. I could feel the sweat from his hand on mine. It was foul. “what do you think will happen?” I did not want an answer, I already knew what would happen. He would try to disarm me and he would die.

“Mr Peterson” I addressed him. “You have chosen haven’t you.” Despite my tone, I was not doing this to satisfy a murderous tendency. I wanted to take the Aston. I wanted to watch him feel small. I wanted him to feel inadequate next time I walk in on him sipping his old fashioned and gloating. I wanted him to stop the sickeningly narcissistic public displays of one upmanship. My suite was pristine. I didn’t want a blood sodden suit.

I told him it was futile, and he, inutile. His hand was quivering like a child’s. Some kind of man he was. Despicable. I offered him a further twenty seconds. Twenty, nothing; nineteen, nothing; eighteen, nothing; seventeen through 9, he glared, attempting to remain composed; eight, the thumb twitched again. I pre-empted a move; seven, he drew a breath; six, nothing; five, nothing; four, he began to exhale; three, he continued; two… his body convulsed and his arm drew back as much as he could force it to. My body jolted towards the open window but only so much as to alter my position. I was strong, much stronger that he. My physique was glorious and powerful in comparison. My left hand was pressed against the handle still.

Stupid little man. He began to wriggle like a fly caught in a spider’s web. There was no logic to this shambolic attempt at saving himself. This man doesn’t deserve to live. And I will have his car. He reached with his right and tore a button from my cuff. “Scratching like a cat MR PETERSON!” I spat through my teeth with furious resentment. The fear in his eyes sickened me. So, I looked him in the eye “I’ve had enough” I said, “you are a joke Mr Peterson.” He said nothing.

With my left hand firmly poised on the door handle I pulled back my right hand, bending Mr Peterson’s wrist. I pushed my arm forward with full force to release his grip. As my torso shunted forward, his eyes grew bigger, I felt my thighs strengthen, and then…

Even his blood was vile. That creature hunched before me. His blood was running down my wrist and soaking into the fabric of my suit. My palm was still resting on the base of the gun as it hung out of his skull. His limp hand flailed downwards like a dead eel. He was grotesque. I hadn’t even given a thought to how it had happened. I watched the stream of blood run from that obnoxious face and it was exhilarating. I pushed with the base of my palm. The sound was satisfying.

And how did I feel? Remorseful, guilty, upset, sacred? No… Nothing, I felt nothing.

How do you feel now?

How do I feel now?… I feel nothing.

I closed my eyes for a moment. There was a bellowing roar of a thousand people that sounded like rapidly halting tyres… and I opened my eyes to an incredible light.

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A slice of a dream

I felt like I was smiling, I could feel eyes on me, but there were either so many people to single out, or no one at all. The kind of contradiction that made it apparent that I was submerged within my subconscious. I could see books, whites, yellows, blues and browns through and in between figures. A crowded void, a contradictory space, full of movement without form and only allowing partial vision to its contours.

There was a note on the wall, a wooden wall, pinned roughly, on a discoloured piece of slightly crumpled paper with a tear in the corner. It had drawn on thin lines and in bold square black marker someone had wrote “When I look at you and I see you looking at me… its just beautiful”

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Nothing makes it begin and nothing makes it end. But there has been a lull almost as perfect as an absence twice of late.

At 00:11 on Thursday morning, seconds before I was about to be blanketed by my subconscious; I heard, what sounded like the echo of a firearm through the thick nocturnal air. Suddenly began the percussion, getting louder as the echo subsided. Crushed again was my throat. Dread pierced my chest with its splintered needles. My eyes a haze, and my vision remained unchanged regardless of whether they were sheathed by my eyelids or not.

I am no longer holding the glass of water. I have become it.

The nightmares returned three nights ago. The cold sweats four. Five days of salty cheeks and impeccable façade. The exhaustion will set in before long. I ate like a starving sow at a picnic at the start of the week. I experience a scantily appetite now.

I am dispositional.

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Motionless movements

Today I have felt like an entity absolutely void of life, that moves without purpose from one place to the next. Some days I live in my head and not in my person. And tonight, I pray for my sleep to be undisturbed, still and without tension. Exhausted by movements that I haven’t considered or made. Thunder so loud and outrageous, silently displays it’s rage. But no body sees this epic display. It is fury and fear are contained in a damp and ageing, muffled cage. Maybe you’ll feel it if you press on my skin. Though these layers of face and facade are thick and many. I wonder how long it can beat for at this rate. It’s rythem inspires negative, worrisome pontifications. The strings in my limbs are taut and uncomfortable and I am dispositional.

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The Bear

Sweet sweet sorrow, why do you let me cry. It is not the fine I seem to hear it is the rain. I am the bear who rocks in his cage, others enter and leave again. Exhausted by his own existence, every day the bear will claw, the bear will call, the bear will rock, the bear will fall. But he is the only one in his cage. Every dawn the bird will enter, the bird will sing “oh why don’t you fit through the bars as I did. I did. I did.”…. “Oh sweet bird but why wouldn’t you try to sing more quietly. For you do not need to try, your wings have much life in them yet, your eyes still see into the future”. And yet all that would keep me content for a while… “why wont you land and tweet for a while. But I beg you for quiet, your preaching damns me. Your big words do not make up for your little movements. Wait with me a while and we can build a Kite”…. I did I did I did I did I did I did….. The bird would stop by the paw of the bear. “WHY?” and why with a tilted head he would say, “I’ve no need and no hands, and I could fly away”… “Oh bird but please I do not ask for your wings or trees, just some time, some feathers and leaves. Just a seed!” Because when the wind changed from the bars he’d be free. But each day before an hour was done the bird would fly on, back through the bars, no more words that was it, he was gone. 

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The diluted past present in the subconscious; a struggle to wake without confusion.

We could spend days and nights and nights putting ourselves to rights, the world to shame and taking sips of delectable dialogue from gold plated paper cups without recognising the endeavor’s futility. The intensity yet irrelevance of days gone by, appear fictional. Unplanned adventures and spontaneous creativity sometimes take me back to those stateless, mindless moments; the moments where I had no control over myself. Or at least, that is what it feels like now. There is no opportunity to alter your past self. I am no longer this, but I am evolved from it. Although uncertain of what that is. The catharsis involved in those actions often deems me uncontrollably airborne towards the gravel walls of my grandparent’s house. Momentary glimpses of a life removed, fragmented between the stone cold reality of mortality, and that of horrifyingly magnificent eternal youth dreams. Both transcend their expected limitations and present themselves within the other.

Days and nights, days and nights… Oh how they can drag, one into the other, into the next, beyond the next. Lacking in conversions, the conscious and subconscious are indifined and frequently momentarily boundless. There are few defining features of my reality. Temperature, texture, light and emotion are not them. These features are present in both states. I often awaken, void of energy, chaotic. Uncertain if the life I think I live is the life I live. To awaken sometimes is so unreal. Its surreal. It is not always, that I awaken to reality; I often wake up into a dream. Never stationary, never still, I move and breathe, and feel…

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Monday Feeling (Yes I know it’s Tuesday)

As yesterday’s Facebook status will verify, I had trouble containing myself when “Kick Start My Heart” started. It was a welcome relief from the Spotify premium advert prior and in any case made me want to air grab and dance in front of people that couldn’t hear it. Unfortunately I was on the bus, on my way to work and in entirely inappropriate clothing. Nevertheless I felt amazing, I have just had the best weekend in a very long time and all I did was read, run, eat and do little else. My Monday feeling was totally, absolutely, the best. In contrast to those of my friends who were “coming down with a Monday” after “the best night ever” with the “most amazing people ever”. Followed by the “worst hang over ever” and needing someone to “drive to McDonalds” presumably because they were still too drunk at three in the afternoon to drive themselves. Now I’m no hypocrite, I’ve been there many times but at least now I know why I shouldn’t eat McDonalds and I don’t. “Everything in moderation” my Nan used to say… She was right you know. Don Henley reckoned those nights are places “you can never leave.” Maybe so for some. Pushing on makes a mockery of the idea of a good night. They tend to be places of endless anticlimactic flashes of time, with bouts of instant onset intermittent dementia that prevents incredibly important conversations (that incidentally no one cares about) meeting their momentarily important pinnacle (that your mate is itching to talk over to make their point). No one ever seems to peak, and sound fades away as the light seeps in past the curtains beginning to endorse an awkward lull. Everyone starts to prang out and whisper because the neighbours might hear. Because there is a dog two doors down that might bark if it hears us and wake the kids at no.7. Because well, because maybe now we have decided that actually, I am reluctant to listen to you now. You chat shit…So whisper!

I firmly believe that going to sleep before midnight at the weekend is perfectly acceptable. The only thing you actually miss is a sore head and a couple of bad days following. Since Sunday I have run at least 2 miles a day. I haven’t had a cigarette since New Year’s Eve. I’ve read every day this year. And I feel happier than I ever have.

I spent a little bit of time recently pondering friendships. I feel I have been demoted to Facebook friend status by friends who I had previously had meaningful friendships with. I understand that people have lives, and many people like to induce guilt on people with the “let’s see how many of you like this status” statuses. I don’t like to do this, I really don’t. Neither do I like those statuses. I am not sure if I am no longer friends with these people or if I have become a backup, a reserve #haveIbeenbenched. I stopped worrying because while scrolling I read this “some people aren’t supposed to stay in your life, but they can stay in your heart”. You may chat shit my friend. We may be different people now. But a friendship that was once real, if even only through a moment of instant onset dementia, was real then and will last for ever.

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