It may be the holiday season, but there is no rest for the wicked. So here at Games Perverts Play HQ we have put together a christmas cracker selection of our writings.
Happy New Year!
Quiet Riot Girl
It may be the holiday season, but there is no rest for the wicked. So here at Games Perverts Play HQ we have put together a christmas cracker selection of our writings.
Happy New Year!
Quiet Riot Girl
At precisely eight o’clock on the morning of April fifth the telephone rang. I was not expecting a call. No one had my number at the apartment I was staying at. I let the phone ring. Once… twice; it continued insistently. I tried my best to ignore it. I answered on the fifth ring.
The voice on the other end of the line was muffled yet uncannily familiar.
“Hello, who is this?” I said in reply.
“Meet me at 12 o’clock in the room above the bar at the top of Jackson Street, on the end closer to the park. I have something for you.”
The line went dead. I decided at precisely that moment to go to Jackson Street. I had a shower, got dressed and ate breakfast. Jackson Street was a twenty-minute walk away, so I took my time.
At a quarter past eleven I walked out my door. By half past eleven I was outside the bar looking for the entrance to the rooms above. I found a door down the side that opened when I tried it. It opened onto the bottom of a stairwell. I made my way up the stairs, round one landing and on to another flight. At the top of the stairs was a lone green door. I knocked.
“Come in. I’ve been expecting you,” said the same voice as earlier.
I opened the door and walked into the room. Behind a desk sat me, or at least the man who sat behind the desk looked like me.
“Mmmmm … yes, hello. You called me earlier?” I said hesitantly.
“Yes. Thanks for coming. I was beginning to wonder if you would come. But I see that you’re early in fact. A good sign.”
I took a seat in the seat across the desk from him.
On each end of the desk were two shut wooden boxes. There was a window directly behind him and I could see the trees in the park beyond. There was a tree right next to the window and the shadows of leaves dappled the windows. The room was simply but tastefully furnished. The walls were white. A cool well lit place.
I smiled at myself. Or rather we each smiled at the other. I sat back in my chair.
He sat forward in his and opened the box on his left.
Inside was a single sheet of typewritten paper.
‘She caught fire.’
In a sense that is all that you have to say, but you’ll pause and continue. To speak of the rage, the madness, that followed would be meaningless. Instead you say:
There is neither solace, nor resemblance to the thing itself, in words.
‘It was dry. Hot and dry. The air was still and the lake made it no cooler.’
Superman continued mechanically in Spanish. You, a three-year-old foreigner, only half understand. Not that any of us ever does.
You watch television. Up, up and away. You are alone – alone, apart from the smell of soap. When the memory of the rest is forsaken, that — and that alone — shall redolently linger. Already the screaming woman is a dream — like the naked woman the middle of the road in the Vietnam news coverage. Unreal repetition. Superman ends. You switch off the television. Look at the curved reflection of the room.
Candlelight plays on the surface of the wine glass. I can think of nothing else to say. City lights dance on the river as we leave.
After the fire, she spent eleven days in hospital, repeating one phrase:
‘Tell the police I was burning rubbish in the yard.’
Then she died.
Smoke curled from an unsmoked cigarette in your hand. Expressionless. Unhearing.
I dread the sound of your footsteps, the rasp of your breath, the news you will one day bring.
“You will go home in a few minutes and write these words you have forgotten,” he said. He took the sheet of paper and set it alight over an ashtray in the middle of the desk. He set the dying embers down in the ashtray and opened the second box. In it was a gun and a gold coin.
“You have a choice to make now. You can get up and walk away and know that I will shoot you in your back,” he said. “Or you can pick up the gun and shoot me and take the gold. There is only one condition. In precisely ten years time you shall return to this room and sit in the chair I am sitting in to another who is already a younger version of yourself.”
As he said this, a pained expression came over his face.
“What’s to stop me from shooting you now and not returning in ten years’ time?” I asked.
“Nothing apart from the fact that it has already happened” he replied. I picked up the gun, blasted him away and took the coin. I made my way out of the room and tread carefully down the stairs. No one saw me leave. Though I scanned the newspaper obsessively in the weeks and months that followed, there was never any report of the murder. I play with the gold coin incessantly. I count days. I try to forget.
I’m always wrong.
I am in the feotal position on my bed, at least I think it is my bed, I am not quite sure the world is spinning somewhat. He is standing over me packing his bag, an army type kit bag he would always cart around when we were an ‘item’. He is telling me that he is a ‘misogynist’ and that he would like to gather an army of ‘misogynists’ against me. I am presuming he means to finish the job. It was less than an hour ago that he stood outside my front door and said ‘I’m going to kill you’ and then he got past the door effortlessly – I know, I am one of those women who doesn’t totally lock herself into her own home, what a slut- and stormed upstairs to drag me around. and grab my throat, and kick me in the back – all those cliches that as far as I’m concerned have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the animal in us all. I’d have done the same given half a chance, given a different viewpoint from my own pathetic masochism. so anyway he said he had this army of misogynists or he wished he did and then when he’d finished packing his kit bag he told me we could play ‘courtroom’. And I knew what he meant, because before, when it was all intellectual conversations and that Nirvana Live at MTV cd he gave me and when he fucked me on the pavement on new years eve down an alley way that I am still worried might have been for an old people’s home. he’d given me that book. Games people play by eric berne. and one of the games was courtroom. games perverts play. and we played courtoom later. nobody won of course. this is courtroom:
Thesis. Descriptively this belongs to the class of games which find their most florid expressions in law, and which includes “Wooden Leg” (the plea of insanity) and “Debtor” (the civil suit). Clinically it is most often seen in marital counseling and marital psychotherapy groups. Indeed, some marital counseling and marital groups consist of a perpetual game of “Courtroom” in which nothing is resolved, since the game is never broken up. In such cases it becomes evident that the counselor or therapist is heavily involved in the game without being aware of it.
Courtroom” can be played by any number, but is essentially three-handed, with a plaintiff, a defendant and a judge, represented by a husband, a wife and the therapist. If it is played in a therapy group or over the radio or TV, die other members of the audience are cast as the jury. The husband begins plaintively, “Let me tell you what (wife’s name) did yesterday. She took the . . .” etc., etc. The wife then responds defensively, “Here is the way it really was . . . and besides just before that he was . . . and anyway at die time we were both . . .” etc. The husband adds gallantly, “Well, I’m glad you people have a chance to hear both sides of the story, I only want to be fair.” At this point the counselor says judiciously, “It seems to me that if we consider . . .” etc., etc. If there is an audience, the therapist may throw it to them with: “Well, let’s hear what the others have to say.” Or, if the group is already trained, they will play the jury without any instruction from him.
Antithesis. The therapist says to the husband, “You’re absolutely right!” If the husband relaxes complacently or triumphantly, the therapist asks: “How do you feel about my saying that?” The husband replies: “Fine.” Then the therapist says, “Actually, I feel you’re in the wrong.” If the husband is honest, he will say: “I knew that all along.” If be is not honest, he will show ‘some reaction that makes it clear a game is in progress. Then it becomes possible to go into the matter further. The game element lies in the fact that while the plaintiff’ is overtly clamoring for victory, fundamentally he believes that he is wrong.
After sufficient clinical material has been gathered to clarify the situation, the game can be interdicted by a maneuver which is one of the most elegant in the whole art of antithetics. The therapist makes a rule prohibiting the use of the (grammatical) third person in the group. Thenceforward the members can only address each other directly as “you” or talk about themselves as “I,” but they cannot say, “Let me tell you about him” or “Let me tell you about her. “At this point the couple stop playing games in the group altogether, or shift into “Sweetheart,” which is some improvement, or take up “Furthermore,” which is no help at all. “Sweetheart” is described in another section (page 107). In “Furthermore” the plaintiff makes one accusation after the other. The defendant replies to each, “I can explain.” The plaintiff pays no attention to the explanation, but as soon as the defendant pauses, he launches into his next indictment with another “furthermore,” which is followed by another explanation—a typical Parent-Child interchange.
“Furthermore” is played most intensively by paranoid defendants. Because of their literalness, it is particularly easy for them to frustrate accusers who express themselves in humorous or metaphorical terms. In general, metaphors are the most obvious traps to avoid in a game of “Furthermore.”
In its everyday form, “Courtroom” is easily observed in children as a three-handed game between two siblings and a parent. “Mommy, she took my candy away” “Yes, but he took my doll, and before that he was hitting me, and anyway we both promised to share our candy.”
Thesis: They’ve got to say I’m right. Aim: Reassurance.
Roles: Plaintiff, Defendant, Judge (and/or Jury). Dynamics: Sibling rivalry.
Examples: (1) Children quarreling, parent intervenes. (2) Married couple, seek “help.” Social Paradigm: Adult-Adult.
Adult: “This is what she did to me.” Adult: “The real facts are these.”
Psychological Paradigm: Child-Parent. Child: “Tell me I’m right.”
Parent: “This one is right.” Or: “You’re both right.”
Moves: (1) Complaint filed—Defense filed. (2) Plaintiff files rebuttal, concession, or good-will gesture. (3) Decision of judge or instructions to jury. (4) Final decision filed.
Advantages; (1) Internal Psychological—projection of guilt. (2) External Psychological—excused from guilt. (3) Internal Social—”Sweetheart,” “Furthermore,” “Uproar” and others. (4) External Social—”Courtroom.” (5) Biological—stroking from judge and jury. (6) Existential-depressive position, I’m always wrong.
extract ‘courtroom’ taken from Games People Play by Eric Berne:http://files.myopera.com/eketab3/blog/The%20Games%20People%20Play.pdf?1355075575
QRG first published ‘courtroom’ as a Friday Flash story.
you were in a wheelchair in a courtroom
pipes rattling so loud
empty pipes rattling with passion
they threw you into my cell
to teach all madness a lesson
irate and shaking you were shouting
your wheelchair could not contain you
i took you down longhand
on the table over there
i took you into my arms
we fled down corridors with a posse of escapees
we unlocked gates and got gone
sane relaxed women
with bleach-nurtured quiffs
were urging each other to save me
from the hell bent cripple behind me
crying out he’d been abused
i would rather
take under-age swamp boys
those teens tortured by their own eyes
i could make swamp boys believe
under dust-sheets stiffened by ice
i could make sweet smells with
my lunatic fingers
and i will
until i reach the melting ice-rink
filthy slush shovelled by you
i believe only in swamp boys
i believe in my sense of smell
i trust in the grief of the night
became a rattle in the 2
empty pipes in my cell
( Photo by E-Tank http://www.flickr.com/photos/erictankel/7492128668/ )
She answered the front door.
“Someone just walk over your grave?”
“What the hell-? But – But, I threw a flower on your coffin this morning you bastard!”
“I know. It bounced off… Like a rubber cheque”
“Who on earth did we put in the soil then?”
“Search me, I wasn’t there. You gonna invite me in?”
She turned and went back inside. He followed her into the lounge. He studied the peeling wallpaper and damp under the windows. She was stood at her hostess’ trolley where sat bottles of spirits with no such signs of mildewed age. She mixed herself a tequila sunset, as her hand fumbled over the order. “Hair of the dog…”
Drowning your sorrows… or toasting mine?
“Look. I’m not even interested in how you faked your own funeral. Cos you sure as hell aren’t gonna be sympathetic to how I survived these past twenty years you’ve been banged up”
She slumped down into the sagging nap of the armchair. Some liquid spilled over the rim of the glass and stained her dress. She didn’t seem even to notice it. He strode over to her and bent down to inspect the stain. “I think that’s beginning to burn a hole”
She raised her glass in mock toast. “You gonna buy me a new one then? With your ill-gotten gains?”
“Setting up my escape cost me every penny I had”. He walked back over and parted the curtain with the flat of his hand and gazed out. He let the curtains flop back. He moved over to the mantlepiece and picked up a coloured glass figurine. He held it up to the light and revolved it around in its dim corona. The smoked glass was too opaque to admit the light through it. She coughed. He spun round to regard that she was trying to light a cigarette. Her hand was trembling. He grasped it with his and steadied the lighter to the tip of the cigarette. He flicked the lid back down releasing her hand. Her fingers went straight up to cradle her temple. He flicked away a loose tress perilously close to the cigarette tip. She took a drag and exhaled loudly.
“Some of your clobber is still upstairs if you need a change of clothes”
“Look like you haven’t put on a pound in all that time. Should still fit”
“Expect they’ll be moth eaten by now”
“Only kept them so they’d have something to bury you in. I should have twigged when no one came calling”. She dabbed at a leaf of tobacco on her tongue but couldn’t locate it. He lobbed the figurine into the fireplace. The glass smashed leadenly against the grate.
“You can have a bath as well if you want to”
“You come and join me? I don’t mean- Just come and chat”
She shook her head as she exhaled, jagging the smoke as if she was casting a smokescreen to efface herself. ” She drained her glass and held it up and waggled it. “Couldn’t mix me another one?”
He took the glass and mixed the ingredients. He bent down to study the sunrise taking shape. Its colours were dulled by the scratches in the glass. He handed it to her and returned to study the trolley. “Knock yourself out. When in Rome-ford and all that!” She giggled and lost herself further in the depression of her chair. She resurfaced to wipe a dribble of tequila from her chin. He pirouetted away from the trolley and walked over to the sofa. There was a magazine on the cushion. He lifted it up to inspect the title.
“‘Style’ magazine?” He cast his gaze around the careworn room.
“Whatever you do, you gotta do it with style. That’s what you always taught me”
“So I see”
“Yeah, well takes a bleedin’ budget to have style”
“Always got to be in there with the last word”
Get to have the first one too when you’re living on your own”
“See? Doing it -”
He placed a finger over her lips. Her top lip moved to enfold the tip of his finger. He tapped against her teeth for release. She complied. He went and sat down on the sofa. With difficulty she raised herself from her chair and almost fell back into its maw. She shuffled over to the trolley. She picked up one of the bottles and tipped it upside down. “Shit. We’re out of syrup”. A thick dribble of liquid finally ended its slow slither down the bottle’s neck and plopped to the floor. She staggered back to her armchair and fell into it face first. She didn’t respond to his queries whether she was okay or not. He rose from the sofa and flipped her round in her chair. Then he left the lounge and started rooting around in the drawers of the kitchen. When he’d located what he was after, he returned back the lounge, now reverberating to her thick snores. He pulled down her sweat pants. He yawned her panties down just to expose her thatch. He worked off her wedding ring and then carefully applied the glue’s nozzle to coat the white gold in adhesive. Then he sunk to his haunches and precisely gaped her open with his fingers. “Still moist… still fermenting havoc after all these years”. He inserted the ring. “This ought to have served as a chastity belt first time round”
He stood back upright and leaned over for a cushion from the sofa. The oblivion she was in, she wouldn’t feel a thing. He would grant her that kindness at least.
Marc Nash produced this story as a Friday Flash Christmas gift for Quiet Riot Girl, who gave him the prompt ‘killing with kindness’ as inspiration.
Up on the roof it’s all grey tiles shiny from the rain that is falling in curtains of ice from the overblown black clouds above us. The rain meets the roof, meets the sky, meets the pavement – you and the rain and the skyscape quickly become one in wetness.
The first hysteric eats a banana. Where does the banana go inside her? Down a thin tube to her stomach where it gets churned until it is slushy. Then it gets squeezed along the very, very long tube that is curled in her tummy. Lingers: the soothing taste of collusion. Will soul kissing boys give her herpes?
Inching gingerly down the steep side, you are goose-stepping your froggy fingers, extending a hesitant leg, glancing dangerously downwards – when your toes are touching the gravel on the ledge you hunch into a ball of damp longing, and dropping to relative safety, you are nose-pressing up against brick, squinting through a small window.
She burps. Are her guts entertaining foul weather? As the food goes down the long tube, all the good things go into her blood with a Rothko red on red effication. Her heart drives the blood all round her body, avoiding emotional war zones, so the good things can be used to build her new skin. Lingers: the burn of the heart pumped. Can masturbation wreck her magic vagina?
You rap your red knuckles against the thin rattling glass. Nobody is in there to hear you. As you force the window frame upwards it jerks open unexpectedly easy and you tumble head-first into the hollow within.
The first hysteric unpeels ten ripe bananas, wraps each one tightly in cling-film, watches them time-lapse from firm creamy flesh to dark fibrous mush – until they are bog man fingers, fermenting in their see-through skin. Is she breeding hysterical bananas? The banana residue inside her is squeezed along to the end of the tube in her bottom. It comes out as:
fathers and mothers
Lingers: the terrifying smell of downstairs. Is she having his baby?
Sprawled in a lagoon of rank soup from a toppled bong, you watch the room. Smeared across the far wall in some organic grot: I LUV MY DAD 4 EVER XXX. Who has been trying to entertain themselves in this house without you? The three X shapes are meant to be kisses but you see them as WRONG WRONG WRONG.
Her body needs fresh water to keep it alive so she opens her mouth to the rain and some of it gets turned into urine. Where does the urine go inside her? It drips into a stretchy bag called the bladder. The urine takes the bad things out of her body. She unwraps one bog man finger, dips it in her steaming widdle, and wielding it like a crayon, she squidges the right words all over the very wrong wall: I HATE MY MUM 4 EVER XXX. Lingers: the swoon of tomorrow. When will her breasts fill her bra?
This is the wrong room. The books droop on the shelves. The sofa is dead. There are more shadows in here than daylight. Nobody ever visits. Last time you laughed was the first time and you can’t remember the details. Because you. You believed by welcoming it you could be at one with it: the nothing. But you’re only at one with the rain. And it is raining dead cats and kittens.
The first hysteric knows, even though her skin feels dry her body is wet inside. Is she straight, gay, bi or omnisexual? Some of it escapes through her skin to pound from her forehead in rainstorms. Cheek pressed to the cold windowpane, she casts almost no shadows, in fact, the light that surrounds her is unnatural – it happens all the time, even when she is sleeping. Lingers: the pull of the planets. Can she make her best dreams come true?
The laughter of giants, booming from another room. You crawl down the hallway and cautiously peep round the door. Beneath a voluminous turban of purple, a parrot gripping her shoulder, the older than death Edith Sitwell heads a dining table freighted with ice buckets holding magnums of sparkling curse juice. To her left sits the endless Yves Klein – he is brooding and ravelled in rags, all tousled and blotched at the edges. A girl who looks just like you did – porno-potential cradled in her thighs, I’m not really here eyes – leaves his side, climbs a yellow chrome ladder, disappears through a star-shaped hole in the ceiling.
The first hysteric lives in the mirror, squeezes yellow waxy bullets from her pores, tweezers fine black hairs from her nostrils. Does this red lipstick look pretty, caked down her cheeks to her chin? When she looks at her face too closely, her stomach empties out the wrong way – it sends digested banana up instead of down, with a Pollock drip on slop splatteration. Although she can’t see it, her body wears out a little bit more every time. And she accumulates blood angels in her knickers. Lingers: the caress of the useless. Is breaking your hymen ouchy?
Edith gestures for you to be seated beside her, opposite the larger than death Anne Sexton and the deader than death Sylvia Plath. But you can’t get up off the floor. You spend the next hour under their table, weeping and masturbating painfully, trying not to eavesdrop on Annie and Sylvie swapping quick ‘n’ easy suicide recipes. You promise yourself if you ever manage to get out of this house you will come into your own, in a room of your own – be the oddest, maddest goddess.
She breathes solid air to keep her body alive. Where does the air go inside her? It rushes down a tube inside her throat, inflates the branches of her lung trees, then feeds her galloping blood. She exhales whirling twisters, dizzy and wild, they spin the wrong room until it hurts. Her heart pounds faster, she brews bog man bad vibes, stirs her buckets of boiling bad karma. Lingers: the mewl of the vanishing doubt. What does she want to be when she grows up?
You are reaching a half-arsed climax when you hear Yves suggesting the poets strip-off to roll their bodies in his paint. It is pouring from his eyeballs and the ends of his fingers – rivers of International Klein Blue. You are alone in your nakedness. You alone are primed in his blue. He climbs down under the table and canoodles your dripping blue breasts. Flooding from the end of his painterly penis: Suburban Klein Blue, flooding you. He says:
‘At this very moment, I am truly in love with you’.
Looking deep in his saucered eyes, you snarl:
‘Nothing is love – and it is blue’.
The first hysteric climbs out the skylight and straddles the slippery roof. Is she a huge disappointment? Bad vibes surge from her guts to her brain, get flash-fried in a glare of neurosis. Bolts of curse juice belt through her body to electrify the hormonal sky. She jolts with the thrill of the hot poison spill as the curses roll like thunder from her lips:
‘Your cats will get hit by the fast cars that come out of my night with no warning!’
‘Your cats will drag themselves to your back door, busted and bloodied, eyes big with wonder, to die in your useless arms!’
And it is raining dead cats and kittens. Lingers: the hiss of the heartfelt. Will gargling his sperm make her happy?
Looking out the wrong window, you see the cow jumping over the moon. Grabbing armfuls of plates and bottles, you start hurling every object out the window. You see the dish running away with the spoon. You see the dead cats and kittens in the moon. Anne and Sylvia are oblivious, snoring in each other’s arms. Edith is necking the sparkling juice and squawking crude rhymes at her parrot. And you are heaving each clonking chair out the window. And you are pulling all the books from the vertigo walls, ripping pages, breaking spines, sending every wrong poem these women ever wrote flying fast out the wrong window, recklessly screaming blue murder:
‘These are the wrong rooms!
These are the wrong people!
These are all the wrong words!
Risking safety issues and brain damage:
This is the house that ain’t right!’
Someone. Is this true love at last? With the eyes. With the heat. With the message. He hangs before her and wraps his legs around his neck. He has romantic bones and they creak. He has no genitals just peachy blue skin and a dimple. 1000 red lipsticks couldn’t make him more pretty. 1000 willies couldn’t make him more potent. 1000 bunk-ups couldn’t make him more poxed. His heart is an arthritic claw. Lingers: the choking of throats. Is he her Mummy and Daddy?
Yves is leaping out the window, and he is soaring like an astronaut, no, like an astral nought, into his beloved empty. You go flying out after him, it is easy, and you are falling slowly, like feathers, no, more like snow flakes – every atom that makes you is distinct and of itself, intricately wrought from hot things turned icy – meandering down delicately in the dark, landing gently, softly, all of a piece, serene with the books in the gutter. Your intuition rolls like thunder and no rain falls.
Look at him, look at him hanging. Where does the night go inside him? It gets sucked in his eyes and all the good things rush into his vacuum with a Bacon doom on gloom desecration. He unfurls his dog-eared Kama Sutra. She is his blood angel, staining the sky. He unleashes his karma Krakatoa. She is his red-beaded glassy-eyed blood curtain drawn in dripping folds across the sky. Look at her, look at her hanging.
NEW GPP THEME: OEDIPUS WRECKS
Taking inspiration from Sigmund Freud and Woody Allen, both great believers in the ‘family affair’ between children and their parents, the latest theme for submissions should be suitably perverse.
DEADLINE: JUNE 30th 2012
Over to you, Siggy and Woody:
‘Being in love with the one parent and hating the other are among the essential constituents of the stock of psychical impulses which is formed at that time and which is of such importance in determining the symptoms of the later neurosis… This discovery is confirmed by a legend that has come down to us from classical antiquity: a legend whose profound and universal power to move can only be understood if the hypothesis I have put forward in regard to the psychology of children has an equally universal validity. What I have in mind is the legend of King Oedipus and Sophocles’ drama which bears his name.’ — Sigmund Freud
‘I’m 50 years old, I’m a partner in a big law firm, you know, I’m very successful, and I still haven’t resolved my relationship with my mother!’ – Woody Allen in Oedipus Wrecks