Taking a sip of coffee he leaned back in his chair, normally the highlight of his day. It was the kind
of job that would make your friends very jealous, straight out of college. Leering young men with
But today had changed everything. He'd never seen one in real life, they rarely came into
He liked the look he got when he told someone for the first time, he even enjoyed some of
the jokes they made in the office. But today his head was spinning and he could hardly
concentrate. He had actually seen it up close.
People say they're sympathetic when they have no direct experience of something.
Today was a day for reflection. That's about all it was good for now. Reflecting on his life,
and hers. Yes, he wasn't as strong or as cool or as rich as he'd like (or as his family would like) but
he was good at Photoshop. And she wouldn't get any more work for the magazines and the
websites, if he didn't get rid of the bruises and the cuts. None of them would. He put the coffee
down, sat up straight, and got back to work.
The front door is allowed slam on it's closer.
- Fucking lawless, Joe and I'm sick of it.
- Yeah? What now?
- And it's gettin' weirder. I just saw a man pick pocketed on the tube. I was just about to
confront the little shit but I didn't have to. And I know it sounds selfish, right, but I'm glad it
wasn't me 'cause I'll bet you anything he's wishing he kept his mouth shut now.
- Why, what happened?
Plucking a glass from the draining board, he fills it four times over before gulping down half a
pint; he'd have swallowed it all if he didn't have to catch his breath.
- The kid skipped off at Kilburn, and so did your man. He must have felt something.
- He grabs the kid's shoulder "Give me back my wallet". But as he looks up, there's these
three proper bobbies, with the hats and all. And the main one goes "Is this the man?" the kid
goes "Yeah." And they hop him.
- I've no idea why, man.
- Must be more to it than that?
- Your guess is as good as mine, man.
Flair. Scissor. Circle. Effortlessly out of the Kehrswing. This is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m going to have to give him a ten. I really think this is ten material. Him and the horse. The horse and him. They’re one. There’s no doubt about it. We’re in ten country here. Not on the border. Slap bang in the middle of ten country.
Nine point four. That’s the highest I’ve ever given. I saw a guy give a ten once, but that routine was nothing compared to this. Oh my goodness. Look at that Wendeswing! I have to give this guy a ten.
That judge who gave that ten. He was a laughing stock after that. No one took him seriously. You can’t give just out tens. We might as well pack up and go home if we’re just doling out the tens. But this is a ten. Isn’t it? I mean, if it isn’t I don’t know what is.
Please fuck up. Please don’t make me give you a ten. I can’t. Oh, fuck! Perfect dismount. They’re looking at you. Do something. You have to do something.It was flawless. But I can’t. I’m sorry. I can’t.
There comes a point at which you can pause, observe what you've done and stop. Sophie had passed this point a good 3 minutes ago. The point of no return had been and gone.
Her skin had never been particularly bad. In fact, Sophie had been relatively blemish free as a teenager. It wasn’t until her late twenties that the sebum increased, the red lumps pulsed and the acne began. So on the eve of her 30th birthday, Sophie decided she had had enough. She spent the day going from chemist to chemist, acquiring washes, scrubs and various implements necessary for the immanent removal.
She didn't stop when her skin became red raw from the exfoliating cream, nor did she stop when it burned from the glycolic peel. She continued through the deep, digging extractions, despite the blood trickles that ran from her forehead beginning to blur her vision. Finally, with a scalpel in her hand, she began to cut. From one ear to the other. Most of the skin peeled away quite easily eventually coming off in one large, face-sized piece.
Sophie wiped the blood from her eyes with a towel. She looked into the mirror and smiled.