Monday 29 July 2013

Drunken Sailors - MWBB - Winner!

Another winning piece for this weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster, and at my fourth win, I think I might have reached saturation point and consider stepping out of this for a while. Although I do enjoy the song prompts and what they bring, I need to focus on other writing endeavours.

This week I came out with a rather disturbing tale, not for the feint-hearted. The line 'way hay and up she rises' got stuck in my head (as it did the characters) and this is where it went for me.

  The prompt song this week was:
“Drunken Sailor” by Captain Tractor

They were school buddies, she’d known them all for years, and they still went out together on a regular basis. The fact that she was the only girl made no difference; she could party hard just like the rest of them, she was one of the boys. Although that night it got missed.

Nancy tried hard not to think about thatt. She looked at their sorry faces and tried hard to believe their remorse, believe that it all just got out of hand. But Jimmy couldn’t quite look her in the eye and that bothered her. It made her wonder and recall his eyes that night; the arrogance and the supremacy they’d shown. How drunk had he actually been? There was no telling with him. There were nights you thought he was completely leathered, but then he’d say something and you knew he wasn’t.

But she had watched them all drink that night, watched them all put away the beers with the vodka chasers along with her.

It had been the usual fun in the local bar. Pool was their favourite, and they’d all wanted her on their team; she could pot anything no matter how drunk she was. Then as always they’d moved to the club. Nothing unusual there, two of their six had gone off to chase some skirt. And then afterwards they’d all piled round Johnny’s – again nothing new.

Nancy looked down at her wrists and rubbed them, and maybe the courtroom thought it was a look of humility, but it was pain. The red embedded lines still hurt even though it’d been a week. The doctors said they would eventually disappear, but some days she could still feel the ties they’d used; those horrible plastic things you couldn’t get out of, something she knew all too well now.

She was asked how drunk she’d been and all she could think was, ‘it’s amazing how fast you sober up when you have to’, but it hadn’t made any difference. She still couldn’t work out how it had started, who had instigated it, and how it had ended up with them thinking it was a good idea. She swallowed, still feeling the gag reflex she’d had to the dirty sock they’d stuffed into her mouth. Another thing the doc said would pass.

Then she was asked to recount what had happened. She didn’t think she could when she had gone through it with her lawyer, but up here on the stand with them all there in the room watching it poured out, every detail, totally clinical. As she named each of them, describing in detail what their turn had entailed, she found it cathartic, as though finally stating it out loud made it clear that it was a heinous unprovoked attack, and that the things they did were perverse and brutal. She shifted in her seat, still feeling the brutality.

When asked who had brought it to a stop, the true denigration of what they’d put Nancy through was revealed. Johnny’s mother was sitting in the courtroom. She’d already given her testimony through tears – tears that her own child was capable of such horror, and that she had been the one to discover it after not liking the sounds she’d heard from his attic room. At no time was there a question that it had been a game, Jimmy’s knife had put paid to that. Why would you need to hold a knife to a friend’s throat if it was all in fun?

Nancy was relieved at the verdict, knowing she wasn’t going to have to see them now for several years. It would give her time to recover, time to try and find a way through. She was still in shock; she knew that, the doctor didn’t need to tell her. She just wished the song in her head would stop; the one they’d put on repeat that night to remind them of the good old times. One line in particular kept getting stuck, along with the image of Jimmy’s face as he’d mouthed it during his turn; ‘Way hay and up she rises’. They’d been more than just drunken sailors that night.

1 comment :

  1. You know how much I loved this. It was disturbing, but so precisely written and heartrending, like Steven said, you knew where it was going and hoped it wouldn't, but so compelling Miranda!