SAMPLES > Spencer
Spencer wouldn’t exactly say that
he was much of an alcoholic, though he did once excuse himself from his own
intervention to pour himself a tumbler of whiskey. Not only that but his sixth
sense for locating the nearest pub is matched only by some sort of taxi driver /
homing pigeon hybrid that has a satellite navigation system for an uncle.
Needless to say AA meetings are not familiar territory for our drunken hero.
This probably explains why he turned up to his first session with a carburettor.
“I really don’t think I belong
here,” Spencer protested, “Everyone says I have jauntiness in me.”
“Jaundice,” piped up the group
leader, “they said you had jaundice.”
Spencer eyed up the members of the
group. Obviously he didn’t know any of them, but he could certainly recognise a
few archetype characters in the room. There was the middle-aged mother of six
million children with a cigarette grafted to her fingers and eye sockets so
tired and deep that tiny creatures holding fishing rods could rest in them. Kind
of like that kid in the DreamWorks logo.
There was Bob the Veteran Pisshead
(chances are Bob wasn’t his actual name but for some reason Spencer took an
instant disliking towards pensioners: Boring Old Bastards he would call them).
B.O.B. was a decrepit being who had spent the latter part of his existence
buried chin-deep in cans of Tennents wondering why his family never called or
what that strange meowing sound was coming from some dank corner of his living
Of course there was the
self-righteous AA leader himself. He was an obnoxious Jeremy Kyle figure who
believed he was an example for all recovering alcoholics to look up to as he
chastises and sympathises with people’s habits; claiming that no matter what
anyone else had been through he could guarantee he’s had it much worse:
“I drank so much I developed
cirrhosis of the liver,” someone would say.
“Ha!” would be his response, “I
haven’t had a liver since 1983. See these kidneys of mine? No you don’t do you
because they’re at home in a pickle jar.”
In short: he was a cunt.
As for Spencer, he wasn’t
completely sure when he became an alcoholic. His mother was an alcoholic before
him. And his Grandmother was an alcoholic before her even. And so it went on in
that fashion down the generations. He couldn’t but wonder whether the forks in
his family tree were a secret map detailing various roots to local breweries. He
had never thought his drinking had been much of an issue until the courts
decreed he attend these AA meetings. Spencer wanted to make sure that the people
in his group understood this trivial piece of information. Especially that prick
of a leader whom Spencer had decided to refer to as Twatty McTwatterson from now
on. When he got home that is.
“So,” Mr. McTwatterson began, “tell
us about yourself and why you think you’re here.”
Spencer was able to compose himself
internally and answer his patronising statement in three easy words:
“I’m a terrorist,” he said.
A tense atmosphere grew in the
vicinity. One person even managed to stifle her hiccups in shock.
“But…you’re white,” B.O.B. finally
Spencer had anticipated this kind
of reaction. He’d seen it before from the police who arrested him, to the
passengers he took hostage. No one could believe that a young white male could
even consider terrorism as a viable career path. Who the hell wants to be held
up by someone who’s shit at dancing anyway?
“No no no,” said one woman,
“Terrorists are all Muslims and Arabs and that. Everyone knows that. Don’t you
watch the news?”
She seemed to scorn Spencer for his
lack of appropriate terrorist look.
“You don’t have one of them big
bushy beards?” one eagle-eyed member mentioned.
“And aren’t they supposed to wear
them funny towels on their heads as well?”
They muttered to one another about
his doubtfulness to be able to become involved in any terrorism act. Did he even
read the Koran? Could he quote bits from it out loud whilst hi-jacking a plane?
Although Spencer had experienced this kind of grilling before down at the police
station, he was beginning to regret opening his mouth. Perhaps he may have got
less of a horrified reaction if he’d just walked into the meeting and said he
was a chicken molester.
He protested once more.
“But I didn’t hi-jack a plane.”
Again his gaze was met with several
other eyes all glaring at him in disbelief. He counted eleven eyes in total. One
guy had had an accident. Before more mutterings could commence he told them that
he had, in fact, tried to hi-jack a train.
“A fucking train?!” asked B.O.B.
“Terrorists don’t hi-jack trains you twat.”
“A train was easier,” Spencer said,
“Plane hi-jacks usually end in an explosion and a cascade of body parts. I
wasn’t planning on killing myself by nose diving a 747 into a national monument
“And how exactly do you
hi-jack a train then?” asked McTwatterson.
What do you say to something like
that? In all honesty Spencer could sense more tension arising in the room. No
one believed his story. No one was prepared to believe that he had masterminded
a terrorist activity, or rather made a vain attempt to at least.
“Okay,” he finally said once the
stupid questions had subsided. “I’m not getting anywhere am I?”
The rest of the drunks could only
watch as Spencer stood from his seat and moved towards the exit.
“Bye then.” Said B.O.B.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Spencer
Baffled faces turned to shock as
they watched the geeky fellow lock the only door that lead to the safety of the
outside world and turn to his onlookers. Contemplation shone in his face as he
removed the revolver from his jacket pocket. Blind rage quickly dominated after
“Alright you fuckers!” He shouted,
aiming the barrel at the offending AA attendees hoping to gauge an appropriate
reaction, “on the fucking floor!”
It was the 15:48 to Aberystwyth all
over again. It was the repeat of trolley carts zooming down aisles and hitting
people in the stomach. It was businessmen hurling copies of the Daily Telegraph
into the air in a panic as the wee ran down their trouser legs replaying in his
mind. Well it would’ve been had the train conductor not asked him politely to
sit back down in his seat as he was sat in the Quiet Zone of the train.
And now, as he hurled abuse at a
room of recovering pissheads whose only concern was him accidentally knocking
over the free coffee and biscuits during his ‘spazz attack’ (one members actual
words) he began to realise that not only were people doubtful about what he was
trying to do but that no-one seemed to care.
“Why aren’t you fuckers listening
to me?” He yelled.
The group turned to their trusted
leader for a collective response. McTwatterson clasped his hands together and
placed his index fingers by his mouth like a supervisor does when firing an
“Because,” he began, “you’re not
well. You have a problem and we, as your friends, are here to help you through
this difficult time.” He held out his arms in a welcoming manner.
Holy fuck it’s the Messiah, thought
He had to give up at that point.
He’d wanted so badly to prove to people that he was capable of doing wild and
crazy things. He didn’t have the heart to tell them that no matter how loud he
shouted and how mean he tried to look, no one was prepared to take him
seriously. Certainly not while ‘White, British middle-class data entry clerk’
emanated from his very presence. Nor did he have the courage to tell them that
the gun was actually filled with gin.
Spencer lowered the gun to his side
and sniffled back the tears that were creeping up behind his soft eyes.
“Anyone fancy a pint then?” he
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