We walked into the park after stealing her mum’s painkillers, she had broken her back and was unable to stop us, overpowering her was the path of least resistance. The pills were green but her back was black and her face was red with the thousands of burst capillaries from the strain of merely breathing. With a fist full of these incredible green pills Nadia and I stopped in the first shop we came across for water, these were not a prescription for dry swallowing. They were the size of those big, cheap aspirin tabs, only 150mg but packed full of shit to keep them in a circular form. The pills were bitter, far from the refreshing tang which their green colour suggested, a musty yellow would have been a more appropriate colour, like the inner ear of some feral dog or the dim mid-morning sun. I imagined Nadia’s mother straining to swallow these brutal little pieces of heaven, her now useless body dependent on the foul taste in order to make life bearable. We sipped and swallowed.
As we entered the park an overwhelming sense of warmth took hold of me, and everything was surrounded by a palpable yellow mist that both blurred and focussed the eye. The overwhelming pain matched by this intense pleasure must have felt like a god awful joke, a bitter sweet irony for Nadia’s mother. There was no way for these pills, a compound of satisfaction and beauty, to exist without the violence and humiliation of pain that accompany them. Perhaps a perpetually beaten wife would, right now, be experiencing some mild relief from her fractured existence. Everywhere, broken men, women and children would be experiencing this same sense of relief, joy and safety within enclosed clinical walls. The dingy blue curtains surrounding them, stained with blood, faeces and even the matter of human existence, would finally come alive at this one intense moment.
We, on the other hand, were the fortunate ones. The vomit was replaced by lush green fields, slightly dampened by the cool humid air. Droplets of water glistened and refracted light in an infinite number of different directions. The dull oppressive curtains were in fact a limitless blue sky, encapsulating an awe inspiring, living whole, energized by an ever peaking flame in the sky. The smell of putrid rotting matter was the sweet scent of the breathing earth that gave life to the nasal airwaves. As the dying toiled and suffered in their enclaves, only escaping the torture of life for seconds at a time, an entire living spectacle flourished in their decline. We were its epicentre and we saw the whole spectacle of life and death for the first and last time through unique eyes.
My attentions turned to Nadia’s mother, I was overwhelmed by the pain she would be feeling in order for us to see beauty of this intensity, I relished in her pain. This sensation was not unlike that of the disclosure by my own mother that I had been a twin in her womb, I had relished in the knowledge that I was the stronger of the two, I had destroyed something that had threatened to undermine my own existence, something that was essentially myself, identical in every fibre and hair on its dying body. I had consumed its weakness and my life was lived in the shadow of its pain, its failed existence. The pleasure I was taking in the pain of Nadia’s mother was akin to my entire life, every pleasure, every sight, smell and sound was a stolen luxury paid for by the death of that failed life. My brotherly fetus, consumed by my body only weeks after our conception was a victim of my joy, my celebration and love of pleasure however, so was I.
The full understanding of what I had done to my fetal brother brought me to a sense of realisation that I had never before experienced, I knew what I had to do in order to salvage any form of basic humanity. I was convinced that I had to impregnate the young, fertile body of Nadia. With my seed nestled within her womb I could recreate my fetal brethren, albeit twenty years too late. This act of human creation would satisfy my own mother’s need for closure and allay the sense of loss she had felt due to what she believed was her own maternal failure. My mother always thanked her God, in the irrational way that only a mother can understand, for my survival. In such a manner that suggested a miracle and not murder. If she knew the truth of my entire existence, the chimera ripping at the life chord that held my brother within her body and within the realms of life, my hand consuming all that was rightly his. A murder of providence that her God should give me life and that I take it away. Her entire belief would be destroyed, that God could turn his cheek on such a transgression.
I reached my hand out to Nadia, touching only the tips of her fingers, she was startled by my unprecedented show of affection; I had rarely even looked at her in recent years, our friendship was one of habit than of genuine enjoyment of each other’s company. The euphoria we were sharing was slowly fading into a catatonic sense of guilt on my part for what was about to occur. I was about to impregnate her with the redemption of my crimes and it would change the entire fabric of our acquaintance, habit would become necessity and I would nurture her womb with loving hands, not with any affection for her but for the ultimate forgiver of my sins, my brother.
She looked into my eyes, I could see the recognition on her face for a lost friendship, a direct continuation from where I had left it following the car crash which had resulted in a severe trauma to my brain. My personality proceeded to collapse into itself and for five years I had been left with no emotional liability, only rarely would I relapse into my former self. For now I was within a relapse and was overtaken by an extreme feeling of loss, I knew that the reciprocity we were sharing would not last and I would once again withdraw as soon as I had withdrawn from her body.
The sensation of touch sent impulses throughout my body, neurones confused and tangled in my spinal chord, thus distorting my peripheral nervous system and sending feeling to every extremity of my body. These sensations confused my movements and made me far clumsier than I cared to be, but with the movement of my hand across her body Nadia contorted with the same confused pleasure as I did. Her lips trembling not with anxiety but with the faint murmur of her heavily beating heart. I leaned over to kiss her and in this moment I knew that my brother had been destroyed by my malice, but must be recreated in love. This act of re-creation was an act of love and for that moment I was in love with her, really and truly. We embraced one another and reacted intensely to one another’s touch, her womb slowly opened up to me and allowed me to enter her, breathing sharply and hesitantly but inviting and embracing my sex. The holy motives for my actions were forgotten and my desires took hold, the fertile body of this young woman controlled my every move, directing us both into a climatic unison, the reason for which was but a distant and confused memory.
As we lay naked on the damp, cooling grass, my penis flaccid between my legs, I felt vulnerable to my impending withdrawal, the luxuriance of the world around me was beginning to fade. The greenery of the grass and the intensity of the colours around me were beginning to dull, even the brightness of the sun had lost its powerful white glare and was reduced to a mere gold. I was aware of how cold I had become on my left side as I watched the sun peaking in the sky, peaking and bathing our naked bodies in its warmth and glow. The only intensive display left was the silver outline that marked the contours of Nadia’s body cast by the now falling sun as it fell away behind her and left me cold and exposed to its counterpart.
Once again Nadia looked me in the eye, but there was no recognition in her gaze. I looked through her, my retreating mind only seeing her now as a necessity for my redemption. Her eyes teared, she sat up, looking away from me as she did so, and covered her breasts from my dormant stare. She hastily redressed herself, but her movements were still contorted by the synaptic confusion that her brain was offering her. Whilst my euphoria was slowly fading into a dull enclave, hers had turned to anxiety and mourning. I imagine she felt somewhat cheated by today’s events, tricked into the situation I had created for her, but with what ounce of enlightenment I had left I wanted her to know that what we had felt was real, and not just the necessity that was once again creeping over me. But it was impossible, my ability or even desire to take liability for my actions and emotions had passed. I was cold, the sun was rapidly descending towards the horizon, some thousands of miles in front of us. I stood up, satisfied and arrogant by the creation of my own redemption I placed a firm hand around Nadia’s stomach, marking out the contours of her womb, illogically mapping a passage of safety for the embryo we had created.
With an even firmer and far more vexed movement Nadia threw my hand away and pushed me backwards.
“Can you understand me Blake? Is there anyone in there?”
Her soft breath released a harsh and unloving tone.
“What we did was wrong, it wasn’t okay. I know you are fully aware of what I’m saying, I can see it in you, I can see you calculating.”
The effort of creating the sounds to reflect my thinking may well be dilapidated, but she was right, I had full understanding of what she was saying. However, I found it far easier to just stare blankly at her.
“Blake, I fucking hate you, I hope you can understand this. Because it is more important to me than anything that you never see or speak to me again.”
The vacancy overwhelmed me. I was momentarily aware of my actions and my lack or care for this beautiful but now psychologically damaged young woman. She was clearly deranged by our act of recreation. That it took place with a mentally damaged friend, with little capability for emotion probably exasperated her situation. It was clear that treating me like a child was her only way of dealing with our actions, it dissolved her of responsibility. She could excuse her actions with some misguided maternal instinct towards me. Oddly, she was far closer to her own instincts in this immediate moment than she was probably aware. Yet she continued to scram, her voice clogged with the confused contractions of her tears. The sun continued its slow descent into the horizon. The hysteria continued. I made out vague passages of her demented prose
“…fucking inside me… I want to get it the fuck out… crippled… can you hear me…”
Vacantly, I stared at the beauty of the setting sun, I was in the final stages of my withdrawal and was only passively aware of her cries for help.
A rude awakening became me. A numbness beseeched my entire sinus; eyes watered, a dense and heavy drought lay within my nose, followed by the coarse scent of blood in my throat. My eyes swelled.
“HELLO!? IS ANYONE FUCKING THERE?”
I looked up to find Nadia looming over me, her lip trembling in a manner devoid of any sexual ambition.
“IS ANYONE LISTENING TO ME”
She rapped on my skull three times. I was still gazing up at her in a deafened sense of complete confusion, she was perfectly still but the rich blue sky seemed to spin behind her..
“…morning after pill.. ”
In those three words and singular action I knew my salvation would be ruined, all that I had created, so fragile but with such a sense of promise. The numbness began to settle into a dry feeling of calm, my peripheral vision was blinded, I was staring dumbly at her feet.
In a slight of hand I grasped at her foot, pulling her forward. She fell heavily. Within that one fall all of my redemption fell to pieces, our embryo became detached and perished and I was contaminated once again with the guilt of my in uterine murder. Her head hit the grass, a soft thud echoing into to my knee as I made my way upon her. Her eyes closed then squinted into the setting sun as I placed my hands around her neck forcing my thumbs into her trachea. My fingers struggled to make their way around the back of her neck, instead grappling with the soft humid grass, exhuming the soil in preparation for some crude grave that would provide the final resting place for my fetal brother. Dribbling, I pushed harder into her throat. Deranged by some instinct of recovery the tension of her trachea was unbearable, a resistance to death had taken hold of her body and every muscle contorted. Limp and exasperated she failed.
Unable to stop the vomit from leaving my mouth I ran into a bush to relieve my stomach. I was sickened by my own actions, everything was entirely still, immobile and present. There is nothing outside of this scene. Nadia’s contorted body lies in the grass to my right devoid of all life, my brother lies within the eternal confines of her womb, entombed. I feel entirely self reflexive for the final time, entirely culpable for my emotions and my actions. As a child I had acted upon the need for immediacy with little regard for consequence, following my accident at the age of fifteen I had acted autonomously from any moral agenda. Now for the first time I am entirely aware of my actions and feel a palpable sense of consequence. Vomit trickles from my chin as I look over her body, the putrid dense smell now indelibly associated with death. My nose runs, I retort. The taste burns the back of my throat.
Laying down next to her I take her head in my arm, nurturing her stomach as I had promised. The peripheral of my vision is beginning to close in and I am almost blind. At ease now, I once again mark out her womb and nurture its imaginary contours, as if skin, muscle and diaphragm were removed. Gradually slowing, I am falling into sleep, once again removed from my situation, I had nurtured my brother into death. Nadia’s body is cold.
words Marcus Harris