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Fragment of a potential novel…

July 17, 2014

This a some writing ‘around’ a potential novel set was dystopian future, where the right wing UK government had made a deal with Lovecraftian monsters from beyond spacetime… This is a doodle on one of the characters, and gives an intro into the world… I may even write it one day.

Proff started the day like usual, up at the crack of early evening. He can’t seem to sleep at night anymore. The only time he can get some quality shut eye is in the mid-afternoon; when the world has gone heavy and lazy after lunch of a piece of plastic toast and re-hydrated soup granules. He fed the rats. Molly had just given birth, which was a good sign, but the biggest one was born dead, which was bad. Proff was distraught. To make it worst, it was a precious blacky – the most holy of the soft wriggling things. All folks knew black rats were good luck.
Too upset to give the rats more than the standard shit-and-dirty-bedding-removal, and brush-and-polish with the piece of genuine 100% silk, he did his chores frowning and distracted. He did not even feel his usual spike of pleasure when running the piece of genuine 100% silk over their short velvet fur that rippled with delight; the satisfaction that came from knowing he stole it from that bitch Sue. Or maybe she’d given it to him. He couldn’t remember, and they don’t talk now anyway to ask.
A pan-op came by snooping, reporting on his movements to the Eyes. They tried to keep tabs on him, but he was too smart and too careful. This time he had hidden in Hiding Area Number 7: a small trunk which was placed over a false bottom that concealed a hole dug under the shed. He made it into the hole before the pan-op came by, but only just. This was another distress signal from usually prompt Proff to the unseeing world.
He couldn’t explain how he knew the pan-ops were coming, but he did. He always had. One of the local gangs, the Pit-Bulls had tried to use him for look out because of it. He’d made enough money that his rats and him were kept in tinned beans for weeks, before the Pits got tired of the so called false positives. They hadn’t believed him about the Eyes. The gang couldn’t see them, not even when they filled the sky with watching. They’d beaten him, but not too badly, because they know he was special. People didn’t really mess with Proff. Not just because of Tank and Spyder, neither. He’d been right about too many things too often: raids by the pigs; DWUP purges; pan-ops fly-bys; poll tax registration sweeps. Of course they said he’d been wrong a lot too: the Day the Sky Fell; the Hour of the Black Wings; and the Eyes, always the Eyes. But Proff didn’t understand how the others had missed them. The Day the Sky Fell, for example, had left him and the rats in Hiding Area 4, cramped and shaking, for uncounted hours until the eldritch shattering had past. Peg had miscarried that time, and Proff had mourned for months.
Today, when the pan-op had buzzed off back to its suited masters at Westminster, he’d crept out from Hiding Area Number 7. He had checked outside the little shed, but there was nothing in his glen in the rubbish mountain that wasn’t supposed to be there. It was a brisk day though, so he wrapped his ancient army surplus coat more tightly around his skinny frame, and tightened the piece of old twine that he used for a belt. He went back inside and stoked his little burner with some of the non-toxic rubbish, and put the kettle on. Today he added half a teaspoon of his precious powdered milk to his supper / breakfast of harsh brown tea. He needed it, the death of the little blacky shocked and upset him. He settled down to work for a few hours. He read all the feeds he could, on the small jerry-rigged black market screen Tank had given him. He sifted the news, gossip, forums and mail for patterns, shapes that concealed the Others.
He left his official Mail Feed ‘til last, when the small hours of the morning turned into the real live morning. His work had gone well, nothing that monstrous was visible. He had relaxed enough to let Scar and Rob, two of his favourites, clamber over him for a cuddle and play. Their sensitive inquisitive noses had sniffed carefully at his face, and little scratchy feel had whispered over him. But now, he had to read his Official Mail. He hated it, hated that they even knew he existed. But the penalties for ignoring it were just too high, it even frightened him. Better to read it like a good boy than be more conspicuous by disappearing from the Database. Now that did get you noticed, and it was best to keep out of sight of the Eyes.
There was a mail in his Inbox. Proff tensed, his eyes, never entirely still, darted here and there more quickly. The From entry was the DWUP. The Subject line was Important Information Included. Warning: Illegal Not to Read. He really really didn’t want to. He wasn’t even on bennies, why would they contact him? He reached for the Open touchscreen with a shaking hand. He pressed it.
The worst had happened. Well, not as bad as the Black Wings, but nearly. It was useless to complain that he wasn’t receiving benefits, that he was not on the List of the Unemployed. The Work Ticket had found him. He was going for a six month shift on the Work Gangs unless Tank and Spyder could help him.


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