my inbox killed my darlings

She hurtles after him. A single neon street lamp barely reveals the aftermath of a road attacked by storm clouds.Wind bellowing through her hair. Full flight beneath her feet. Anticipation burning in her chest. Stealth glowing behind her cat eyes.

My eyes flutter open.

She is gaining on him.

Roll over.

His hair slicked with sweat.

iPhone reads 4:56am. Unplug it.

His heart roars.

Roll over beneath the covers.

He’s losing ground.

Swipe screen.

And still, he runs. Crying out to his thighs, his biceps, his blood to CUT JUMP MOVE NOW! But –

Flashing number seven, hovering over my mailbox icon.

But he –

Nibbling rodents of unusual sizes: Qantas Travel and AirBnB spam-mites.

Dear Erin, Have you renewed your subscription to…DELETE; Dear Erin, Unfortunately, Michael has revoked his application but the good news is that mould would like to continue squatting…NEXT; Hi Erin! This incredible raw food offer expires…NOW.

Dear Alison, Do you think Mr Mould would consider signing a five to ten year lease? Fuck knows he’s in arrears as it is. Might as well grow some balls while he’s at it. Actually stake his claim to that shoebox of steaming green gunge that we call ‘My Asset of Intelligent Potential Wealth’ and see if we can take him for everything he’s got.

BACKSPACE BACKSPACE BACKSPACE SELECT ALL DELETE

Ooh…hang on…

It’s that petulant child, LinkdIn. (LinkDin? LINKDin?)

Do you know this guy?

I dunno – do I?

He thinks he knows you.

Aren’t you supposed to tell me this stuff?

He’s been looking at your profile.

Ok. Interesting. Young?

Your age.

Handsome?

Naturally.

Industry?

Film.

Come on… ‘Freelance’?! Does that really count?

He knows you’ve looked at his profile now.

Shit. Fuck you, linkdin.

Wait –

Does that make me more or less interesting? My profile has nothing on it. Why are all these strangers asking to ‘connect’ with me and my nothingness?

I should update my profile.

Make it worth their while.

Hey. When did she become a ‘Copywriter’?

I should apply for that job.

Make my life worth my while.

I can’t really be bothered though.

Oh dear God…

Oh…holy fuck.

FUCK YOU LINKDIN

How the fuck do I spell that anyway?! (I should check before I post this…should I post this?)

SHUT UP! Look!

Oh no…no no no no no…NO

Cat Girl and Lion Heart Boy lie splattered across the highway of my mind.

What have I done?!

A horrific homicide of dreams haemorrhaging into the dark, intangible interweb.

But I only took my eyes off them for a moment!

That’s all it takes.

Help! Somebody?! Anybody?! Please!! Help me!

An ambulance wails a distant cry.

It pierces my heart.

Yes! Yes! Oh, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Come! Quickly!

It’s coming closer…

Hurry!!

But it’s too late.

No!

I know it.

No! No! No…oh, no…

I stand over them for that short instant, watching the light drain out from behind their eyes. Almost as fast as they came into being, they are gone again.

Man…

Life is so short. So unfair.

My poor darlings…

A heavy breath falls out of my nostrils.

Well…

iPhone reads 4:58am.

I’m up now.

Plug it in.

I should make the most of it.

Roll over.

Maybe go for a run.

Eyes flitter and close.

But sleep never comes.

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cut. reset for the wide

And if there is a trapdoor will it lead me into the deep, winding corridors of an underground fairground?
Where aluminium horses dance in circles, and mouths agape on clown faces that gulp at the sweet scent of soft pink fairy floss. And tall, tall men walk in wide, wide shoes and short, fat women rise high above on skyscraper stilts and smile down upon us with a secret in their soul and a stench in their chests. Where the taste of cheap bourbon floats on our taste buds as we swim through lion-hearts and snickering monkey minds, hand in hand under a sea of stars. A dangling killer python swinging recklessly beside me, haunting me with its’ neon sugar striped rage. Your heart, a thunderous city of blood and sweat and tears crashing against the distant sound of waves. But our own secret lies with that snake and heart and sea as they lie in wait, poised to lasso any freak or fool who dares to take us down. And so we fearlessly take our seat atop the penny-farthing wheel of life and cycle through the dawn of ages.

Is that where we will be?

Or if it’s not in a fairground, can it be a long walk down to that rocky shore, beneath the rollicking waves and into our seabed upon the ocean floor?
Where we can leave this airborne world behind for our deep sea farming destinies, growing great muscles of courage that form calluses and mould into hard shells upon the rock face of our love.
And when the fishermen come to carve our love away and feast upon their hard earned cash, we’ll flex and bend with indulgent supply, and watch as their souls start to burn with that beautiful aphrodisiac of delight.

Or are you on that speeding train holding out your hand as I slowly lose ground, my legs burning, my chest heaving my bones, my skin, my heart forwards,
Until you charmingly adorn the drivers cap and make proud racket with bursts of steam and hooting laughter so loud that it calls all the world to a halt?

Or is that you in disguise upon that small throne in the corner of the dark, wooden coffee shop, nose sniffing the pages of a novel, neck deep in the mist of another world entirely? If I dive into that paper bound locket and poke my head out from the other side will your eyes see for the first time that treasure chest of adventures that you went searching for? Will we still act surprised when the trees between those pages melt back into the earth, flesh falls away from bones and the sun stands still just long enough to dissolve that mirror between us into a pane of glass, so that we can finally stand face to face with the truth?

I would search the ends of the earth for you and leave no stone or wave or fish or wheel or star or page unturned.

But love…?

What if I just missed you for the rest of my days?

Where would I be then?