Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Virtual Junkie

Episode seven of Mrs Sunderbury And The Gold Earring. The story starts here

Mary Shervington stood shivering in a toilet and tried to clean herself up. Being a junkie was like living in a virtual world, she thought, except that the world plugged itself into your DNA and took over. She looked into a soap-spattered mirror and pushed the soap dispenser. A reluctant gob of bright shiny pink dripped into her small hand. She had no nails, her knuckles were ripped from where she had vainly attempted to defend herself the previous night. Or was it night? She had no idea of how long she had been in that subterranean hell.

Her body felt like it had something else in it, not precious Afghan opiates, but something foul and manufactured in a Dutch lab by weirdos. She shuddered and stifled another retch as the acrid sweetness of the soap seared her nose. She washed her face and neck, cleaning away blood and snot, staring straight ahead at herself, junkie piece of shit she could hear in her head, you junkie piece of shit.

She had begged twenty pence to get into these toilets, and she knew they were due for an inspection in five, and so she began to hurry. No plug, so grabbing some paper towels she blocked up the sink and half-filled it with water. Then she took a breath and plunged her head into the water, pulling her hair with her fingers to wash out the dank smells of basement and smoke and men. She could just about fit her head into the tiny sink.

Five minutes later, wet but clean, still shivering, she stood upright and admired herself coldly. Not bad for a piece of junkie shit. Her blonde hair was tied back behind her skull, revealing fashionably gaunt cheekbones. Junkie chic thought Mary bitterly, which idiot ever invented that? She couldn't hide the bruising without makeup, and her leg was still bad. She needed to score fairly quickly or the cramps would start in earnest. Pushing thoughts about what she was about to do out of her consciousness, she pulled herself up to her full five foot five, and pushed her way through the heavy swing doors, blowing a kiss to the CCTV as she left.

End episode 7

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