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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

'Parallelism' : A Serial : Part Two

The reflection of Marcus Jones smiled back at its identical caster. It looked good, it felt good, it was good. Marcus always thought he looked better, more attractive, when viewed in this mirror than any other. Perhaps it was the way the light from his bathroom lamps caught it or perhaps it was the fact he tended to check himself immediately after passing waste and this cast a natural radiance – or relief – upon his pale fa├žade.
      'Scared of mirrors' laughed Marcus. 'That old quack is in no position to advise me of my state of mental well-being.'
      He realised he was talking out loud to himself again and embarrassedly began to hum a nondescript tune as some sort of post hoc cover for his indiscretion. This too he stopped after a second. He was alone in his flat, who would have heard him? Did his neighbours hear him? He knew they'd heard him singing along to an old tape of pop hits last week. They'd knocked politely at first, then with incensed purpose. This progressed to a rapid temerity and, when Marcus finally opened the door, there was little to suggest the usual calm manner of 'wee Fergus from next door' in the face of the seething, bile-spitting demon that stood before him.
      'Will you keep that fucking noise down?' he gasped. 'And keep your fucking singing down too. If it is singing...if that noise you're making is singing and not just, just...a fucking weird racket.'
      'I'm sorry, I didn't realise.' apologised Marcus. It was true, he had barely been conscious of the sounds he had been making for the last thirty minutes. He had filled half an hour with high-pitched yelps, wheezes and squeaks and all to familiar tunes by Billy Ocean, Peter Gabriel, Level 42 and, most embarrassingly of all, Bucks Fizz. He was left out of breath, uncomfortably hot, lightly sweating and his mouth felt tight and sore.  Marcus coughed – a well-placed cough always made him feel better – and straightened his glasses in his mirror, the one which always brought out his best features.

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