Thursday 30th October
I’m not entirely sure how I’m able to write this tonight after the day that I’ve had. I didn’t catch a single wink last night; Timothy was particularly unsettled and his temperature was almost off the scale, Sammy had a nightmare which left her in floods of tears, and Lori is a light sleeper at the best of times but last night certainly wasn’t that. I caught a couple of hours when the girls went to their new school for induction, under normal circumstances I would have joined them but Lori’s better with that kind of shit than me and I just didn’t feel like I could face it today. Instead it gave me my own bonding time with our new abode and, after my catnap, I set to work on tidying up some of the shit I seem to have unwittingly adopted. I am actually rather fond of rooting through junk as one man’s shit is another’s candy. Most of it was in a state of disrepair or likely never functioned in the first place but I did unearth some curious items. First off was the most glorious water-painted mural, a little unnerving perhaps, but ideal for covering a large crack I discovered on the wall down here. Second was an antiquated music box which looks like it may fetch a fair price. Lastly was a rusty pickax which I have no use for but got me in the mood for writing at least.
Before I knew it I was in full flow; first chapter down, second, third. I couldn’t pinpoint where it was originating from but would imagine it was somewhere deep as I hardly had a single recollection of what I wrote by the time Lori returned home and shattered my stride. I figured it would wait until the kids go to bed, a little light reading by candle light as I also found plenty of those. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I found something about her really aggravating all afternoon, it was like she wanted to push all my buttons all at once. Maybe she was pissed off for me not attending the girls’ induction, who knows. She said it was fine so why then did it not feel that way when she came back? That is a huge bugbear of mine and, considering neither of us slumbered well last night, it was just a bad idea from the start. After a couple of hours I scurried back into my crawlspace and busted out some Nine Inch Nails as I know that gets under her skin. She reciprocated by cranking up whatever she was watching on Channel Zero. I think Mindy’s sleeping with Claude, while his girlfriend is having an abortion after being raped by Brett. Brett’s Mindy’s fella. What the actual fuck? These things are here to test us and today felt particularly ringer-esque as the only place which could offer any sanctuary was down here, in my little air-raid shelter.
I call it that but actually it has occurred to me that this would be the best place for me tonight. Tension in the bedroom is so utterly laborious, laying next to your spouse with lights out while you swallow your own face in anger, never an attractive proposition. One night down here would do me the world of good, a little alone time to contemplate my next chapter. I felt the urge to write for some reason, it’s never normally this free-flowing so I’m grateful for any accelerations in my productivity. The bizarre thing is, I didn’t even recap on what I had wrote earlier, just felt like I knew where to pick up from. For a good three hours I was totally absorbed into my fictional world and then I decided to come up for air, actually it was pretty much necessitated. The painting hadn’t stayed in position, all I can see now is that crack and it almost seems to have deepened. I think actually I may leave it where it is as the chink does have a certain rustic charm and, if you look at it lopsided it kind of resembles a welcoming smile. I’ve always been culpable of possessing an over-active imagination, shit that’s the whole reason I became a scribe. If I didn’t write some of my demons out then they would have engulfed me long ago. It’s the one thing that’s fine, the one thing nobody else can fuck with, the only thing that’s precious in this miserable excuse for a life.
I try to remain positive at all times but having my own getaway also brings great clarity. Reflection time isn’t all sweetness and light, sometimes it just helps you to realize how painfully fragmented you are. Why can’t I just be me, why does every day have to be an exercise in conformity, I didn’t sign up for this. Lori’s fine, I can’t complain really, it’s her cunt of a mother who really sucks my sockets dry. It is as though I entered a competition to win the most tyrannical in-law imaginable and walked away with the trophy. She is beyond redemption; a blackened wench from the farthest reaches of Wenchdonia, sent to this plane to torment my soul on a bi-daily basis. If there’s not a visit there’s a phone call and it consists of at least an hour of burdening her youngest with every single one of her neurotic fantasies. By the time the receiver is replaced, I’m next in line for a verbal assault and I don’t take kindly to acting as scapegoat. Every day is like a chess skirmish, I’m like a Russian when playing our little charade. She despises me and that just makes me want to level her more. I’m the dude that gets on with folk, never before have I had to deal with such vindictiveness.
Her father is a whole different ballgame, he’ll no doubt be the only other soul allowed into my little sandbox. He’s the long-suffering kind, looks ten years past his prime and steadily diminished from years of emotional abuse. Defibrillate him from his state of stupor and he is one priceless motherfucker, brimming with bottled vigor and keeper of many an old chestnut. Alas, they come as a two-piece. I purposely specified no visitors for the first week at least as that old battleaxe really makes my blood boil but Lori’s resolve isn’t as strong as mine and she ended up caving in to the old hag as she usually does. Tomorrow lunchtime we are to be blessed with her presence and, what’s more disconcerting, is that she’s coming solo as Frank is fleeing for a doctor’s appointment. Turns out that he would rather have two digits inserted into his rectum than spend the afternoon being downtrodden. I have no intention of surfacing until she’s gone and knowing the way she lingers like a fart in a Smart Car it won’t be a brief encounter. On a good day I desire only to bash her cranium in with a claw hammer until I reach pulp but, considering Lori and I haven’t cleared the air yet, my murderous intentions are best kept in solitary confinement.
I have already fitted my personal space with a deadbolt as she will no doubt come sniffing around here like a mangy mutt before too long. I’ll work on my novel in peace, drown out her whiny falsetto with some Pantera, until which point as she has moved on. Tomorrow night is Halloween and I have promised the girls I will assist them in carving Jack-o-lanterns although, considering I’m feeling less than hospitable right now, that will likely be an exercise in frustration also. Down here I can get inspired, churn out a few more chapters of my book, and avoid contact with everyone. I’ve stocked up on everything I will need to prevent having to return topside until then; it’s just me, myself and I for the foreseeable. I keep getting drawn back to that wall, something about it has me transfixed and I can’t put my finger on what that might be. I suspect there may be another room behind it, the brickwork doesn’t look the most sturdy, perhaps that pickax could be put to some use while I’m flying solo. Space is at a distinct premium and, besides, I’m convinced that behind it lays the answers to Amityville’s dark secret. Considering I’m writing fiction, it will doubtless provide the inspiration I’m searching for.
What a find. I’m glad I went with my gut as knocking that wall through has given me a splendid idea for my novel. It took me almost an hour to break through the fortifications and, I have to say, what I discovered provided exactly the kind of history which will help my cause no end. Inside was a shroud, wrapped up dirty linen, which evidently hasn’t seen the light of day in some time. I won’t be informing Lori of the bones which formed my welcome package, she will only overact, and she is already looking for excuses to pack up our stuff and return to Brooklyn. Human remains would no doubt tip the scales in her favor with regards to that particular argument and I’m determined not to give her an inch. Sure, it could be considered something of an omen, but superstition is a load of self-indulgent claptrap if you ask me. Folk clearly died within these walls, a bundle of ebony attests to as much, but my work is coming along leaps and bounds and nothing is going to knock me from my perch now that I finally have the solitude to actually make this happen. It’s my way or the highway on this occasion, time for papa bear to put his foot down after being a passenger for far too protracted a period.
Another four chapters in the bag. Still not got the vaguest inkling as to what I’ve been writing or whether the title still has any relevance but I do know this: it’s my best work. I was planning on reading some before I rest up but instead I decided to sit in my new cubbyhole for a while, soak up the dark energy which is unquestionably responsible for my productivity spurt. I think I discerned Lori tapping away at the door like an inquisitive fishwife but she isn’t setting one pinky in my cellar. If she’s expecting an apology for my late night deconstruction then she has a lengthy wait on her hands. I’m digging my heels in, it has taken this long for me to feel like the man of the house and I’m not about to relinquish that shit without considerable melee. I’m aching for an excuse right now to let my frustration show and can’t be held responsible for my actions if she continues to push. The deadbolt should supply her with all the discouragement she needs to stay the hell out of my business.
That ornate music box is a work of art. It seems to have inhabited a mind of its own and keeps chiming entirely of its own accord, despite not being wound. I’ve grown rather accustomed to the jingle, some may consider it a little ominous but I find it relaxing. I have even forsaken my 75’s for the time being as I’m more than happy sitting here, becoming enchanted by its charming chime, and rocking gently back and forth to stave off the cold. I’ve got numerous moth-eaten blankets to keep me warm should they be required although, the longer I spend down here, the more impervious I become to the chill. Hearing voices in your head is nothing to be alarmed about when your inner monologue is as convoluted as mine. It merely provides another running commentary and its suggestions, whilst not what you would call socially acceptable, are no harm to anyone so long as I keep them to myself. I’m sure every man imagines life without his brood at some point, it doesn’t mean we have to act on our impulse. I’ll hoard the Intel, for the weekend at least, that should give me enough time to finish what I have started here. Every great piece of literature has its own exclusive back-story, I’m positive that Stephen King has harbored iniquitous thoughts from time to time. It goes with the territory.
Going to get my head down for an hour or so as I need to be fresh for the long day ahead. Sleep deprivation tends to mess with my well-being and I have much work ahead if I’m going to make headway on my pièce de résistance. It’s funny how time flies when you’re in the zone, the whole evening appears to have passed in a heartbeat. Shit, one can really lose themselves in such comforting confines. I can already hear the fracas upstairs; Sammy is bleating on about her night terrors, Timothy is inconsolable once again, and Annie is having one of her pre-menstrual hissy fits. Fuck that for a game of soldiers, resurfacing now would invariably end in me getting it in the ear from Lori and she should know never to prod a sleepwalker. I don’t know how much more of her shit I can stomach before flipping, all I ask for is a little lone time to find my inner center. I am beginning to realign and fast learning the art of stubbornness. I have my shit on lockdown, papa’s got a brand new bag, and it’s time to stamp some much needed authority on the Eccleston household. I can see it all coming to a head tomorrow but it’s not like it hasn’t been on the cards. I’ll construct my argument after a short nap, doesn’t seem necessary to make my makeshift bed up, I’ll just stay here in my cranny for now.
Truly, Clearly, Really, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014