Mayhem Literary Journal is generously sponsored for 2019 by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato

Pill Time - Stephen Henderson

Hi there, my name is Stephen. It is so nice to meet you. Would you like to hear a little bit about me? Or me? Or me? Or him? I could tell you all about him? No fucking, shit balls. I’m getting frustrated here. How frustrated? As much as a two fingered retard trying to send a text message. Sorry are you confused? No I am not going to change this, I am not going to re- assign anything. The paragraph structure is fucking perfect so don’t even fucking sugges-

Pill time.

Sorry about that, I get like that sometimes. Anyway I am Stephen. I’m 16 years old and I currently don’t really live anywhere. Awesome huh? Of course it is, it’s soooooooooooo awesome. I was kicked out of home at fifteen… aren’t I lucky, go on tell me I’m lucky. That’s right mum couldn’t handle me, haha, hilarious isn’t it. And so fucking lucky! I am my own man, my own sixteen year old, on the street, dirty, grotty, pubescent, scared, lonely, a guilty horrible, terrible weak man. I don’t know who I am, do you know who you are? Where am i? I don’t know you, who are you? Who am i? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!

Pill time.

Ahhh there we go. Anyway as I was saying, I suffer from a very rare condition. Being a dick. That’s right, I remember being out with my friends when some drunk guy threw a rock at us. Yeap, big mistake buddy. Did I tell you I did boxing? No? I did boxing. I was the under eighteen North Island champion for a while there. No I was. No I was. Shut up, you only got to do any of that because I was there pushing you. You were there, what the bloody hell are you talking about? You know what I’m talking about you ungrateful little twat! I like the word twat… it’s hilarious. It can be pronounced twat or twot. Hahahhahahahahaha. So fucking funny! Like the time I told Mr Weeds to lick my balls… then he died. Death is fucking hilarious. Ladedadedadeda plonk dead HAAAAAAAAAA.

Pill time.

My name is Stephen and I have been diagnosed with post traumatic bipolar schizophrenic disorder. I don’t know either. I heard a couple of people talking the other day. “Oh give me drugs I love drugs”— really? Really? Really? Really? Really? Really? Really? Really enjoy cakes. Especially chocolate cakes. Wait a second, I’m confused…

Pill time.

The other person said back, “Oh you wouldn’t want to see me when I am on my pills.” Well I really think you wouldn’t want to see me not on mine either. It’s kind of a Banner and Hulk thing. Stephen smash! Like the time those guys threw a rock at me in town. My friends all stood there staring, why were they staring? We could be punching, crushing, destroying! We could overwhelm them, yes consume them. I could smell their fear, they threw it because they are drunk, let me out! LET ME DESTROY THEM. I have to say I let him out, he did destroy them. In fact, Stephen. Yes Stephen? Would you like to take it from here Stephen? Of course I would Stephen. So they threw a rock and yelled something out at Matt. Now they were in more trouble than a Cub Scout at the Neverland ranch. Hahahahah it’s funny? Why aren’t you laughing? Paedophilia is hilarious isn’t it? ISNT IT?

Pill time.

So I ran over to them, I knew what I was doing. There was three of them, my friends were there, but they were trying to stop me. Good luck. Hit the first one, the drunk guys, not my friends. We don’t drink why would you think that! Fuck off, no we don’t, we do not fucking drink! Anyways, so where was I? Ahh yes in the ring, this was it the big fight.  I could smell sweat and blood. Anyone aroused yet? No, let me continue then. He came at me… see what I did there, ahahahhahahahaha lol at violence. Anyways so he came at me and tried with a combo 113223124. HA! Fucking amateur, who ends on a 4? Paddy only lasted four. If you know what I mean. The intensity was getting to me, one overhand. That’s all it took, down he went. I shattered part of his spine. It’s not a very good shock absorber.

Pill time.

So anyway I hit the first guy, he went down. It was awesome, I felt his jaw lock around my knuckles like glove. Beautiful, he went straight back into the window of Michael Hill Jeweller. I should have said something witty like “gold,” yes very witty Stephen, incredibly well done Stephen, thank you Stephens. So I beat them up, story over fucking yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Pill time.

Story not over, I was put into prison. They told me I could never leave. They told me I was sick. I’m still here, I don’t know why. I have to get out. She needs me. Tash needs me. She hasn’t been acting normally lately. I DON’T WANT ANOTHER FUCKING PILL! I want to see my girlfriend. We are going to get married. I love her so much and she loves me too. I know, I’m so lucky. Even though I am in here she will wait for me, you will see. She loves me. They keep telling me she’s gone.  Please. She’s not gone. She hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t know why they keep telling me that she has. I don’t know why they keep telling me she’s dead. I love her. She loves me. How could she? She can’t. I love her. She loves me.  We are Stephen and Tash. You know us, the whole fucking world knows us. We have been the time bomb that society needs since day one. You know us.  I love her. She loves me. Love. I would die for her. And when I get out, I am going to marry her. I love her. She loves me. You’ll see. We picked out a ring, I’m saving for it, I’m about halfway there. We want to go to Israel for our honey moon. We are so happy. You can never take that away from me. I won’t let you, what are you doing? Get away from me. Get the fuck away from me. I don’t want another pill, I want to see Tash! I want to see my girlfriend, I want to see the girl that I

Pill time.

Report - Stephen Henderson

Stephen doesn’t fit the bill. He is simply: too short, too fat, too loud, too quiet, too red, too blue, too imaginative, too lazy, too Stephen. He is never what people want. Never the first pick. Never the winner. He is the other story; he is the story that doesn’t deserve that triumphant brass band playing in the background. He is more of a case of the bottom feeder of society to be. I would like to say he has potential, but that would be a lie. I would like to say he can make people smile, but that would be a lie. I would like to say that he is a deep insightful person with a bright future, but once again, that would be a lie.
        Most children find what they’re good at around the age of fifteen. Stephen found that he was good at fucking things up. We are pleased that he has found something that he can do consistently. Once again I would like to mention that he is stupid. Completely and utterly stupid. He is not good at math. Not like Brendan Harris. Brendan Harris knows all of his timetables and is often the fastest to recount them when asked. Stephen looks out of the window while we do maths because he is too stupid to carry out the tasks or memorize the formulas required. Not like Brendan Harris. Once again… stupid very, very stupid.
        When it comes to English his hand writing is appalling. It is almost at the level of one of the Special Needs children. Almost. I think his struggles with penmanship are linked to his inexplicable inability to look good in photos. He always has his eye closed or his mouth open. With his rotting teeth and drool hanging from his mouth. He is truly a disgusting little freak. Obviously he doesn’t take pride in his appearance. Quite often he will come to school without shoes wearing the same track pants he had on the day previously and holes in his T-shirt. He is nothing like Sophia Roberts. Sophia Roberts always wears pretty little dresses. Sophia Roberts’ hair is always brushed to perfection and tied with a ribbon or head band. Sophia Roberts is so beautiful, not like ugly, short, disgusting Stephen.
        When it comes to physical education Stephen struggles to keep up with the other children. The staff see him try and move his fat little legs and can’t help but laugh. Oh it is very humorous to see him sucking on his little blue inhaler. I think it should be taken away from him. I think he should have to survive without it. He is nothing like Potama Brown. Potama Brown is such a fast little boy. Potama Brown is always picked first for all of the sports teams and you can tell that he cares about a healthy lifestyle. That is because Potama Brown is a good little boy that is on three different sports teams. Not like Stephen who probably couldn’t even stomach one.
        Stephen also seems to struggle when it comes to making friends. This is probably because all of the other children have picked up on how inferior he is. He tries to make jokes and just receives blank faces. He doesn’t seem to understand that he is not invited to play with them at playtime or lunch. When he came to the school social, not one girl would dance with him. Not that I can blame them. We educate girls to choose carefully who they dance with. Not to pick any losers. All the girls danced with Troy Heywood. Troy Heywood is such a good looking boy, and he always knows how to make the children laugh. Troy Heywood goes to a private school to teach him how to dance. Troy Heywood is going to be a little star. Stephen on the other hand is second rate. He doesn’t deserve the same attention.
        I’m so sorry to inform you that Stephen has been found inadequate at this current juncture called life. He was too inadequate to receive a father. In fact, his inadequacies are so great that we don’t believe he should have been given a mother either. We believe that his father made a correct judgement call when he left. All the arguments, yelling and beating in the world administered by his father to his mother still couldn’t get the message across. The silly woman still clung onto him like he was something special. In spite of his mother’s continual belief in him he constantly displays a complete lack in anything of any real value. He is boring, he is stupid and he is grotesque and we definitely do not think he is worth investing any time, money or energy into. We would go so far as to say that we would recommend a complete write-off.
        In summary he deserves everything that he gets for being so pathetic. He deserves to be kicked out of home. He deserves to move from one psych ward to another, he deserves to be beaten by his uncle, he deserves to be robbed, mugged, hospitalized, we do however recommend that he receives one person who will love him in spite of it all, one who will kiss him, hug him and tell him he is worth everything, one who will promise to marry him and make him feel worthwhile, then she will commit suicide, he will not be allowed at the funeral, he will not be allowed back home he will not be allowed access to her at all and he will only have a few photos to remember her by, he will then proceed to sit at night and stare at a blank white wall while he hears her voice inside his head, while he hears her sing, while he hears her whisper, while he hears her scream, while he tries to piece together what happened, why the one thing that loved him left him, why everything leaves him, why he is even here, if he will ever recover, if anything can ever tell him he is worth more than his father, that he is worth something anything that h hne ishby wornmsth sompnvzjme ahfnL Jthing, Fj thoo so VoMoe one a thjahknh  WJGHWGNLsdkgnwngiwnbowglmqwv NBSabignskgnsngsjkhvbkldsgnw,.nsvibvisodkgnwheaivnsdmvsdisagipnkajggoingavbodnifkbnvwithvwingorpbniavjher.oewnoGP;WngvoaefnegpnwvesoonnhgurwjogbinfNOUIGV

Why I Write - Stephen Henderson

You wonder why I write like this. It’s not about trying to bury myself in some sappy love story, or some high end fantasy. I can’t sit down and write detective fiction. I can’t touch my keyboard without pouring out a dead rainbow. All of the browns, and greys, the yellows, the blacks. This is my palate. So let me paint you a picture.

I have a picture on my wall. It hangs there in purple and red. It has greens and oranges. It is there to fight off the black that seeps between the cracks on the stark white paint. The black moves in the lines between each brick. The black slugs its way down the wall. It crushes me. The black whispers to me: “Stupid.” It doesn’t want me to write. It smoothers me. It tastes like it’s halfway between banana skin and marmite. It oozes over my hands and forces my nails into my palms. My childhood flashes before me. Moments of absolute misery, being told that I could be retarded because of my hands. Why can’t you write, and draw and tie your shoelaces like all of the other children? Because I was stupid. It slips in between each finger and one by one undermines everything. Past and present. She doesn’t love you, they don’t like you, it’s all a game of being polite. It forces my nails down harder and I let it. I let it because I’m not worth the struggle.

My palms split under the pressure and blood rushes to meet the darkness. The colours twist together but remain distinct. They weave through my fingers. Red wraps itself around my knuckles and my soaks into my skin: “Punch.” It doesn’t want me to write either. It flashes me a new way to see the world. The world in all of its fucked up glory. That keeps my tongue in check and makes me think that words aren’t enough. It whispers to the marrow in my bones that if I don’t do something if I don’t cause some kind of violent protest nobody will listen. Nobody will change. The red hisses and rises through my veins towards my brain. People only listen when you do something you don’t want to do. When you show them how angry you can be.

The red hisses and slithers away as a drop of green hits the top of my head. It drips off the stairs above me. Slow, rhythmic drips. It sins directly in though my head and fights the red off. Because in the end. It doesn’t matter. “Sleep” echoes around my skull as the green, little by little lulls me away. It doesn’t want me to write. It wants me to sit in front of a television, playing the latest video game and do nothing. It wants me to watch countless porn videos and never step outside. It tells me there is no point going to Uni, or going anywhere. All green does is tell me to sit, and rot and chase little things of laziness. It leaks onto my brain and starts corroding it. Burning it like acid. You don’t need a brain, you don’t need to write, you don’t need to do anything. It twists itself around my mind and wrestles it away from anything I actually want.

This is why I have to write. These three colours come at me from all angles. I have to write to prove them wrong. I understand that your colours are different. That your yellows and your pinks and your blues don’t compel you to do or think the way I do. You can write about some other world, some other person. You can tell stories that have nothing real in them, but I can’t. I can’t because every single fucking day of my life is a struggle. A struggle to keep from going under all of the colours. They threaten to burn me, to smother me, to build up within my veins and make me explode. So if you dare to ask me why I write what I write, you might find something that you don’t like. You might find that I smile and joke and piss people off so that they don’t ask if I’m feeling okay. You think you can put up a good act? One of my “friends” doesn’t believe me when I tell them that I went through hell and back because I’m too happy. I don’t have moments where I can slow down, or stop and think, because if I do I don’t know what’s going to happen. If I do my skin will peel itself off and show you all of my colours. It will show you what it truly means to be me. Why I don’t choose to write a nice little story, why I don’t choose what I write at all. I write what I have to write because if I don’t I’ll get swallowed whole.

Contributor's Note

A 22 year old English and Psych major with a writing club and a passion for anger.

 

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