Glorious ArcadeMature

No I am not Irvine Welsh, but what I can say for his writing is that his language gives you a definite sense of place. With a task centred around a briefcase for University I adopted some of his style, only in the dialogue. Let me know what you think.


Tommy was sweating despite the Caledonian chill.  Wind whipped his cheeks scarlet, shrieking like a banshee.  The train was nearly deserted, except for the an in blue jeans and leather jacket reading the back of the ‘Daily Record.’  Tommy had noticed the picture of a Titan in green and white. Fucking Fenians.  The only other aspiring passenger was a woman with a bouffant, cradling a squawking rugrat in one of those ridiculous sling articles.  I wish she’d shut that wain up.  Tommy stuffed headphones in his ears, blasting music from his phone.

-Yes I was drunk.  You’d be the same.

Tommy had hoped the music would sedate his shredding nerves, but it only gave his thundering heart cross-rhythms to add triplets to.  Only getting rid of the briefcase, hanging like a three ton lead weight from his blanched knuckles, would calm him.

“Et wuz good enuff fae the Irish in the ehties.  Ya couldnae jus’ say ya wanted yuh freedom.  Ya had tae show’m,” the freckled gargantuan with the brambles of rust cascading from his chin had told him this morning.  He had rolled his R’s to make them almost sound like L’s, and had scared the digested weetabix out of Tommy.

The seismic shift of the approaching train buffeted Tommy from his thoughts.  Soon his view of the symmetrical grey platform, with its chipped amber pillars and blue colander benches, was obscured by the long charcoal carriages.  A small dirty sign announced Leith as its destination in sighing yellow font.  Tommy needed the airport.  Destination Heathrow, home of ‘oppressive Monarchists.’  Tommy had thought Freckled Gingers words were bigger than his special brew belly.

The train emptied its guts of businessmen and yobs onto the platform.  Cold Scotsmen headed off to groundhog day.  Tommy looked up.  Through the human stampede, descending the steps, Tommy spied his worst fear.  Police. Fuckfuckfuckfuck.

Adrenaline spoke to his feet, launching them forward and twisting him through the narrowing doors.  Tommy exhaled only when the world lurched, and the empty train station retreated.  The Police stopped at a vending machine as Tommy, and the briefcase, gathered momentum in the wrong direction.  The music in his ears was interrupted by a mechanical xylophone.  Withheld number.  His thumb slid across the screen.

“Are ya fucken stupit?  Leith’s the wrang wae.”  It wasn’t Freckled Ginger.

“Ya pleen leafs in an oower,  Yud bettah get tunned aroned.  Preck!”  Abrupt click, aggressive guitars fade in, and the rumbling world was drowned out.

Tommy delicately placed the briefcase on a rattling table, planted his clenched arse on a stained chair, and slammed his head against the headrest.  How’d they find out so quick?  That was when his eyes caught the leather sleeve and the ‘Daily Record’.

The man at the station must be one of them.  He was part of the shadowy troop that had made his cargo, the briefcase intended to promote Scottish independence in a glorious arcade of fire and limbs.

Jumping from his seat, Tommy ripped the newspaper from the hands of a blond haired woman.  Her crinkled brow was startled smooth, and Tommy realised his error.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“Sorry I thought ya were someone else.”

“Someone who like their newspaper snatched from them?” Uptight English Bitch.

“Look, I’m sorry...I stressed oat...wrong treen...need airport.”

“Then give me my newspaper, get off at the next stop, and get a taxi.  It’s not bloody quantum mechanics.”  The irate blond snatched back her newspaper.  Tommy turned around to seat himself.  “Go and blow up other places.”

“Wha’ ded you jus’ say?”  Tommy spun sharply.

“I said, you shouldn’t blow up in others faces.  Does that require translation?” Arrogant English Bitch.

Tommy prepared to unleash an eloquent and profane attack at the English, but his eye found the man in blue jeans and black jacket.  He was gripping a pole in a neighbouring carriage, trying not to look through.  The train braked, Tommy snatched up the case and ran to the exit.

“Have a lovely day now.” Sarcastic English Bitch.

Tommy leapt from the train and swiftly headed to the exit of bloody station he had disembarked at.  A backwards glance told him the leather jacket was in pursuit.  Shitshitshitshit.

Tommy needed a cab.  A car.  A miracle.  The taxi rank was empty.  He checked his phone.  Twenty-eight minutes left.  Cross the street, steal a car.

The world watched, blaring irritated foghorns as he lunged across the street, aware of the blue jeans exiting the station behind him.  

Tommy found an alley, and a silver peugeot.  His miracle.  Without warning an iron force hit him in the back, and Tommy was blowing bubbles in a filmy puddle on the ground.  He rolled over and saw his assailant.

“Ya ran ya preck.”  The woman with the bouffant smiled, pulling the claw hammer from underneath the crying childrens doll in the sling.  The first blow unleashed a plethora of bright spots.  The second, severe pain.  The third, Tommy feigned unconsciousness.  Bouffant was convinced after the fifth.  She turned for the case and left.

Tommy found his phone and made a call as he faded from life.  The morning ended in a glorious arcade of fire and limbs.


The End

0 comments about this story Feed