Short stories and flash fiction by Nick Armitage

The perils of celebrity

I didn’t know how long he’d been in my house, he could have been sitting there since yesterday. 

‘Who the fuck are you?’ I said.

‘I bought you a gift. I’m your biggest fan. This is what fans do’ He held up his right hand, keeping the fingers tight in an angry grip around the object, keeping it hidden.

‘No this isn’t what fans do, it’s what mental people do and you’re not my biggest fan. She lives in Leicester. Her name is Joan. And it’s six-thirty in the morning. It’s very early.’ The sun was so low in the sky that half of the night was still on the horizon.

‘Old name. All the Joans I know are dead. Crawford. Of Arc. Collins. Is she dead?’

‘No, but it’s hard to tell. What do you want? I don’t keep money in the house.’

‘Not money. Your life. Not to kill you, not like that. The life you live. I want that life.’ He looked down at his straining hand. ‘You married a model.’

‘A supermodel.’

‘What?’

‘I married a supermodel.’

‘Why do you, you people?’

‘Because we can.’ His hand was tighter still. I wanted to see whatever it was. I pointed to his hand. ‘You could have posted it.’

‘No. The post office loses things. I don’t want anything to get lost. So that’s why I came here, to see you, in the flesh. To your home.’

‘You have to be asked into someone’s home. Like a vampire. But no one invites vampires in because no one likes getting the life sucked out of them. Like this.’

‘Sun’s up,’ he said and he smiled at me. I looked out of the kitchen window and watched the sun slide out from behind a cloud and shine on him.

‘And I’m not dust.’

His left hand dropped below the edge of the table and when he brought it up again, it was holding a gun.

‘I could blow you away,’ he said. He unfurled the fingers on his right hand and in his hand was a cork topped vial of a viscous red liquid. 

‘Can you see this?’

‘Yes.’

‘Type O.’

‘Leave your blood in the bin and fuck off.’

He put the vial down on the table and focussed on the gun.

‘I wanted you to see me. You people never see us. You say you do but don’t. You don’t know us. We don’t matter. But we’re somebody. And we know you. You take up space like gods. I made you. Do you see me?’

‘Leave your blood and go.’

‘See me,’ he said.  

‘I see you.’

‘Remember me.’

‘Why? I don’t want to remember you. Nothing about you is memorable.’

‘I will make you remember me, I will always be in your head, always on your mind.’ He put the barrel into his mouth so that only the dull handle remained visible and his head exploded across my kitchen and whatever else was on his mind filled the room with disappointment.

Ends

2 Comments

  1. Fredrik

    Always on my mind. Love that parallel line.
    Good tempo, great short story with an unexpected ending. Well done mate.

    Figs

    • NickA

      Hello Figge,

      thanks. Originally it was shorter, I wrote it for a 300 word short story comp. It’s partly based on a true story.

      Glad you liked it.

      Ropey

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