It's pitch dark, we're on the floor, leaned up against the bottom of Alan’s bed, both stripped to the waist. The buttons of her denim shorts are open and my hand is down there, blocked by tightly crossed legs that are unyielding to all titillation. The weird immature nibbling she was doing to my neck has stopped. Now she is crying, and where she’s trying so hard not to she keeps letting out whooping hiccup noises in the dark. I freeze and stop all play. I don't want to remove my hand but I do. I can tell it’s the sex which makes her cry.

What’s the matter? I whisper, What’s wrong?

She shakes her head.

I kiss at her tears, thumb them away from under her eyes.

Hey Boo, I say gently. Hey?

Now she completely breaks down. She rips away and hugs herself into a tight ball of sorrow, her hands clasped around her knees and her head hidden in the space that's left.  She's rocking and sobbing. I look at her, bored. I've never seen this before but I feel as though I have. I’m ready to hear how she’s probably been sexually abused, how some bastard uncle from years ago has fucked up her life forever and my life  tonight. I don't think I care, but maybe I do. More, I think I care as a wild card entry that may get us back to where we were.

I say Hey, one last time, and put an arm around her. As I do that she topples over into me and lays within my arms, still cradled up as she was, the top back of her head finding its way under my chin. Oh God.  I can smell something in her hair, on her scalp, that shouldn't be there, but I don't know what it is. Her reaction to my comfort raises my hope. Once more my hand begins wandering south, re-testing the water, this time over her shorts. Again her clenched thighs bar the way. My  finger tips come up dead against the tough denim seam that protects all I'm after. I curse Levi Strauss and his anti-cunt jeans!  I don't force none. I can tell this isn't a game of open the locket. I remove my hand  and let out a huge pissed off snort and reject her, muttering just loud enough so as she can hear: “Fucking Bitch!” I light a cigarette, slam the packet and lighter down,  and sit there smoking as loudly as I possibly can.

Her hiccuping crying starts again. It sounds like there's a fucking bullfrog in the room. I calm down a little but pay no attention to her. Then in the dark I sense something, a slight easing of her sobbing,  a movement, now short little sobs and  I know something is coming. I turn around just in time to see her  face crunch up, her mouth bawl open, and her large milky teeth in the dark:   “I’m only THIRTEEN!!!” She bawls “I’m scared.”

Almost as soon as she says that Alan has leapt up and flicked the light on. He done it so fast, I swear, I saw him freeze-framed for a moment in midair as if he'd been lit up by electricity himself.  He’d been pretending he was asleep. Laying there listening.
Right, get out,  he screams, Get the fuck out!!!
He’s  talkling to her, not me.
She’s sitting up in shock,  her arms clutched around herself covering her breasts.  She’s hardly any breasts to cover. I pass her her jumper and turn away.  Her bra is to her other side with tissue paper in it.

I told ya she was fucking jail bait, Alan says.

When she hears that she lets out a huge caterwaul, like her entire life has just been shattered.

I’m sorry! she blubbers. I'm sorry!

I look at her. As the tears wash her make-up down her face the years peel back and drip one by one in black drops off her chin.

19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12????

Right before my eyes she transforms into a bawling child.

 Fuck! I say.  I feel like I should dress her in different clothes and try to cheer her up.
What time is it? she asks. I’ve got no money, just a bus pass. She must be talking of her free school  pass. Jesus Christ.

Alan tells her it’s 3am. Her face collapses again as she thinks of the night and the dark streets and child rapists – of having to wander around alone, miles from home, until the tube starts up.

Do I really have to go? Can’t I stay here until the morning? It's nearly the morning now.

No-one answers. She drops her head and puts a hand over her eyes. She’s crying again, real sopping wet tears. There's a string of saliva connecting her lips. But she’s also playing peek-a-boo. I can tell. Everytime I look her way she whines a little harder. Alan watches her like you'd watch a captured thief.

I need to use the bathroom, She says.
It’s still in the same place, Alan says.

She scoops up all her things – handbag, bra, bits of tissue, strawberry lip balm, 6-inch heeled leather knee boots –  and scampers off to the bathroom, her face a mess of cheap run mascara and bright red lipstick.

Alan listens.  He's still standing at the lightswitch. As soon as he hears the bathroom door lock he looks a me and says: Fucking pervert!  I seethe and flap an excited index finger in mid air, like it was a close call. And don’t call me a fucking pervert, I say. Who was laying there listening and wanking?
Go away, will ya!  he says. I’ll come an vist ya when ya doing 20 years for child rape... ya sick cunt.
I didn’t do anything, I say
Not a guilty man ever has , he replies. I told ya she was still in school, did I not?
Well I’m not gonna ask for fucking ID am I? Jesus.
Aye, there it goes again: the nonce case... Uncle Shane!

Alan rests quiet for a moment, listening to the running water in the bathroom. When it doesn't stop he says:
Now tell me, and be honest about it now, would’ya still ride her?
What?  She’s only thirteen!
Sure, but if she wasn’t thirteen... if she was  nineteen?
Oh yeah. If she was nineteen, why not?  But she isn’t.
What if she was nineteen but  looked thirteen?
I laugh and wave him away.
There ya have it, boy-O,  he says,  a good fer nothing sex case!

Our nonsense is cut short by the flushing of the toilet.  We get serious again waiting for Her return. When she opens the door and enters she's changed again. Her make-ups been redone, her breasts are back on, her long dark back-combed hair is fixed, and her tears are stemmed by a thick dam of black eyeliner.   She takes a little sip from a quarter bottle of Gin, spins the top back on and puts the bottle in her handbag. She’s 19 again  and looks it...  and more.

I look at Alan, and Alan looks at me. Then I look at her, and she's standing there with her lips a little moist...  and maybe this night isn’t quite ove yet.


  1. Why this is positively light-hearted by your standards!

    Only you could write about near child-abuse and make it seem funny...

  2. Thanks Joe. There's actually a nice little crossover with this post and my recent memoires one. In this post I say that there was a weird smell from her scalp and I didn't know what it was. That was before it was revealed what age she was. Then over in the memoires post I write of the lightness of childhood coing of Tony's daughter's scalp (again her head was under my nose). So the weird scent from the girls scalp (in this post) is of course the smell of childhood still in her.

    Oh, and one other thing, and what probably allows me to write about it very light-heartedly, I was only just turned 16 myself at the time. I didn't make that known in the text as it'd have taken away too much from the moral tension... in fact it would have killed it flat. X

  3. Great post, loved it .. Totally different direction than usual, but just as fabulous as always. Although I don't feel as emotionally wrung out, probably as I have been that 13 year old girl many years ago ;) ..

    I did sense the connection between the two posts, probably as I had only read the one about Terry's daughter two days ago so the sensation was still fresh in my mind, yet I still wasn't sure where you were going with it .. Knowing you it could have been anything .. even death..
    Wonderful stuff Shane and as controversial as ever xx

    I know that abscess's are not infectious .. but I think I have a problem with a tooth and am having nightmares thinking about the Memoirs post :( xx

  4. hey Ruth... Oh, I think it's important to mix it up and full on, intense emotional writing is just one expression and of course can become very wearing, and boring, if people begin to expect it. Same as being overly expliit. It has it's place, and can serve well in that place, but if you employ for every situation it quickly turn from something subversive into something quite tame. I think in retrospect, if my work is gathered up and put together, that posts like this will be just as appreciated... though in a different way and for different reasons. I think finally, that it's good to throw whatever you feel in, to keep the reader on guard, and just when they think they know what they're likely to get from you, it's not that at all. That happened on memoires. People started wanting tragedy and death and sadness and HEROIN all the time... and so I stopped posting on that as t would have been very boring for me. Yes, I lost a lot of addict readers and some people criticized the posts in drug forums, but the posts I write freeely and not so much on subject were some of the best i'd written and they attracted a more interesting reader than one who's after the same tale rehashed and dirtied up.

    An abscess??? Well, you know my advice: use whatever you can, in anyway you can, and smash that tooth clean outta ya head! Don't think about it.. just do it. pain is a cure for pain. X

    1. Shane, I was over reacting and dramatic as ever.. it was a simple migraine in the end..just caught up in the drama of your post..

      I totally agree and I really love this post .. It is in a strange way quite beautiful and tender..
      I know the subject matter is probably off putting to many, but it happens.. Especially today I imagine, when there is much beauty bought as an add on..
      I try and tell my boys that when they get a girlfriend, to make sure a girl looks the same in the morning .. and leaves with her hair, nails, eyelashes, tits or anything else intact rather than in her handbag ;) xx

      I love all your stuff the Heroin posts fascinate me, the past posts open my eyes and take me to a place I can only imagine. but often I can relate to .. and the love posts, tender posts show me that you are a good guy.
      Keep on mixing its fabulous xx

  5. enjoyably cute story. it read like the writing came easy for you ,compared to some of the Strindberg-ish writing that you've done in the past. Did you enjoy the writing? more, please....

    1. Hey Jim... X

      It's very rare I enjoy writing. I enjoy parts of the first draft because I type on auto and it's free and where the raw poetry comes from. But pretty much after that I don't enjoy all the tidying up and rearranging, etc. Straight off the bad my english is very messy. I think it's from where I grew up and not having that early english education, being taught how to speak in clear and proper sentences... it sticks with you. Many writers, who were taught how to speak in near pêrfect sentences from very early on often have first drafts that could be published. Mien just couldn't... they are a whole big mess and then from that I have to chip away and rearrange and rewrite until I get to where I want to go. But finally, when that's all done, I enjoy the end result and am proud of most of it. You're right about the Strindberg thing (whoever the hell he is! haha) this piece wasn't so laden with atmosphere and so was lighter to write and read. It's important sometimes to have pieces a little lighter. I'll try and get a few more in, athough they'll always be a little dark as the theme of the writing here is Animalism and those base acts I seen all my life.

      Hope You're Well Jim... Love & Thoughts as Ever, Shane. X

  6. Hey Shane,
    Yes, I like the crossover between the two. The smell of childhood; somebody's daughter; somebody's son. I wonder if the girl in question remembers. And whether you'll get all manner of "That girl was me" for the sake of fame some day when it's in print.
    Beautiful writing as ever.
    I think a lot of people rely on editors, want editors these days. I don't understand the desire for editors, apart from clearing up the odd typo now and again. The time spent on self-editing, it would just be a kick in the teeth to have someone want to edit over the top of something that took such work/time tidying up. They tend to want to change entire plots/characters until the work is no longer original.
    I hope that when you're in print no one feels the need to de-Levene your work. It's perfect just as it is.
    Vee X

  7. Hey again Vee... X

    I actually became good friends with the girl in question. Her name was Penny and over the next 10 years, both being a constant presence around the club scene, I saw her grow up, leave school, get a job, get her first boyfriend, have her heart broken, fall over drunk, get up, fall back down, fall in love and finally get married.

    I disagree about editors, etc. All great writers had great and wise editors behind them. The raw book is one thing, but the process from when it is submitted to the changes it undergoes is an important one. The writer has his style and that can't be meddled with, but the whole team of people looking over the book are all experts and sometimes geniuses in their own field and often the writer learns a huge amount from these people about structure, arrangement, clarity, and also the commercial side of getting a book out and read. There must be mutual respect and a balance struck as a publisher gung-ho on adapting the book solely for commercial purposes is likely gonna make you a one off cheque but ruin your career. But the process of getting the writers book into better shape is a valuable process as a book is more than just the words. So for me, to discuss the writing, have other expert opinions on how it could be improved, stream-lined, better structured, is a very valuable thing. And don't forget, when a book is accepted they are already saying it's publishable (as is) but maybe could be improved (and most the time it can be). It becomes a bit of give and take. To fund your next books maybe you'll have to give in a little to commercial requirements... it's a business after all. But the right publishers , sharing the same ideas as you, with a genuine love of literature, will not impose idiotic demands on you.

    Take someone like Orwell, a literary scholar who seemed to know (and did) language inside out. He taught and thought and wrote essays on the use of language. He was even an edior himself. But he still had use of an editor in his own work. A writer doesn't see his own words the same as the reader, and you badly need that viewpoint and input. As a writer your brain fills in gaps and makes sense of things with additional info you have but the reader doesn't, and it's impossible to read without that knowledge. You must have done it yourself, error checked your work, maybe twenty times read it over... and then a week later you re-read it and are shocked at all the spelling errors, double words, badly placed commas, etc. You're blind to these things because you know what is coming (supposed to be coming) and so often miss what is actually there. And spelling, grammar etc is the simple side of it. When we get deep into the structure of the text, pacing, characters, time.... it's quite a process and takes more tan one or two people. Orwell had a huge stormy relationship with his editor, but they never abandoned one another. Sometimes the editor got it wrong, but most times the call was good and Orwell must have known it to persevere... he, and any successful writer can go alone if they want and so it says a lot that they don't. The first book is the writers weakest bargaining position... after that, if it's even mildly successful, I think you gain enough respect to be able to fight and demand and override things you're really against. But it's all a help... and knowing if you're gonna fuck around with grammar and structure you'll have to be able to justify it and really explain what you're doing and why, and how itadds to your expression. If not it's easy to become very lazy and you know better than everyone, and thinking that you know how to write on pure instinct... but that's never true. It's only when it's put in your face that you realize how little you really know.

    cnt'd --->

  8. cont'd

    Look at any self-published book. All those writers are sure they're in perfect condition but they are mostly all littered with grammatical, spelling and formatting errors. 99% of self-published books are plain unreadable and crap... why else would a writer pay to publish their own work? They're actually buying paper at 1000 times its price. It's a con. So I don't think the writer always knows best and he/she shouldn't have to. Editing and writing are two different skills which often need the help of the other. I sure as hell wouldn't turn down the help of a great editor... I may even let him live after he's finished. X

  9. Hey Shane,
    You're absolutely right of course: depending on the editor.
    I swing wildly between arrogance and complete self-denegration.
    It's nice to hear someone complimenting something I've written, but at the same time, I rarely believe them.
    I've written things and had to ask people if they know what I was on about. What I've tried to write as "not giving too much away so I don't ruin the surprise" I wonder if it's either too obvious or just plain crass.
    And you're so right: we know how it goes. They have to fill in the in between bits. There's no way of knowing how well we've done this without an honest viewpoint.

    I'm not surprised Orwell had a stormy relationship with his editor. And there's no point in asking friends to criticise work, as they always lie and say how great it is. So there's no real way of knowing how readable things are. You find punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors even in posh publications sometimes: no one's infallible.
    But I love your writing just the way it is. I wonder how an editor would change things? I save things in about 3 or 4 places, edit two, forget the other and forget which version is the final version. Chaotic to say the least.
    Yeah, there are a hell of a lot of shysters out there charging a fortune for self-publishing. Then folks get left with a huge pile of their own book to light the fire with and wipe their arse on when they go broke to pay off the loan they took out to publish. Very few make it and I promised myself never to go down that road. Is it true that the old gal who wrote Harry Potter self published at first?
    (I also heard that she stole the plot and characters and renamed them, but that's another story)

    Well thanks for your huge reply, you make a lot of sense.
    Love,Inspiration&long life,
    Vee x


"You'll destroy me too," she said, "I think I want to die."
- - -

Make a little history and leave what words you have.. X