The Caitiff – Paragraph Extract #8

Yeah, it’s two paragraphs again; the offer to sue me still stands if you think the title of this little subtle and non-invasive form of advertisement is somewhat disingenuous!

I passed the train station again as I headed for the bus stop. I leant against the outer-edge of the Perspex and grey plastic, the seats within the stop all occupied by still flesh. Without the constant fidgeting of a baby, sat in his father’s lap, I might have considered them all corpses. I stared across the road with the rest of them and, I imagine, I must have adopted the same stillness they favoured. Across from us, cutting through the cold air above the road, stood an old building with a recently refurbished bottom floor. In bright yellow, the long sign had a title like ‘Moneysavers’, or ‘Cashdemand’, or something equally as unimaginative. It dressed itself up as something more than a mere pawn shop, as a place which would happily pay the consumer for their old, tattered belongings and would happily sell them back if the owners changed their mind, but it was the same as any of those crooked little back alley dual-roomed shops, with a dwarf squatting in a trench coat and a top hat behind the counter, rubbing coarse little fingers together in his lap and smiling like a vulture from rotten teeth. The larger of the two windows was filled with television screens; flat screens and old boxes and one retro-looking thing with faux-antenna sticking like horns from the top. They were a flickering mass of varying channels; a clashing collective towards which the eye could not help but gravitate; a result of its mismatched ugliness.

A few of the screens showed news programmes; Adams was standing on a pedestal, with three rows of dead-eyed university students behind him, all staring up at him with something they must have thought was admiration but, instead, conveyed a deep resentment; some desert somewhere was illuminated with the spit of gunfire and the reporter, standing there with a desert camouflaged flak jacket on over his dusty purple shirt and black trousers, had to stop talking as a helicopter roared overhead; there were pictures of some celebrity, shielding her face with the back of her hand as cameras flickered at her until she dropped into a seizure, the paparazzi making sure to capture every twisted expression with their flashing lights held inches from her face; a dog was skateboarding with a look of terrified bemusement on its slack face and the recording of a CCTV camera showed two groups of shadowy, hooded figures brawling in an alleyway. A pale, smooth-skinned teenage boy, with a high collar buttoned tightly and hiding his Adam’s apple completely, was dancing in a school car park surrounded by girls and a punk was plucking at a guitar on a dim-light stage, her mouth opening to scream out some lyric that must have meant a lot to her, but failed to break through the television’s mute setting.

The Caitiff comes out on Friday the 13th – that’s 9 days away, for those few, besides myself, who’re counting!

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