Impasto to her surroundings, Robyn itched for respite. Usually, she would catapult into the sky to scrutinise the clouds for a sliver of silver-lining. Not today. Today she was different. Today she catapulted herself with vigour into a bludgeoning carnage. Puce red, hot and firm veins rose and throbbed on her hands with burden. Ricocheting through the platform of bumbling commuters, she desperately darted her eyes…‘Way Out’ was her only option; in action, her hindrance. Troubled by the brevity of a clear pathway in front, she was muddled amongst the crowd. Layer upon layer of her clothes were maladjusted. The incessant and guilty thud of her bag on her thigh aggravated her senses. A heavy sheepskin jacket trapped the trails of sweat from her neck into her askew shirt collar. Crumpled cottons maintained a misshapen identity, whilst polyester poisoned her already inflamed skin. A film of her depleted dregs of saliva globulated, then resumed coating, her mechanic mouth. Robyn’s face flurried with blotches of rash and dehydration. Salty and wretched, she wiped them away. They dried untidily across her already bothered cheeks. The motion caused her rough sheepskin sleeve to swell her lips further. She could not help but feel the arthymic onslaught of her possessions would cease if she were floating – floating towards Albion with grace. A breeze would channel her into synchronicity. The walls – no – the defence of a bubble would even defy the formidability of sunlight. Each ray fragmenting into a shielding oil spill – a metallic shield scarring and obscuring her view.

Robyn had grown tired of haberdasher attempts to insert herself into the puzzle around her. If she had ever fit neatly, she would have been part of the border. Perennially fixed on the edge of the enclosure – slotted into place first. This was Robyn’s box, her predictable niche. If she had ever fit, she was misshapen now. Soggy from the fish tank of her child hood. Torn and worn from the ocean of her adult life. Bent and out of shape from the suffocating weight of her own anxiety. Robyn had come from an awful place.

There was no hope in reminiscing and revaluating. Robyn absconded from the arrears of her mistakes, leading to a mindless state of maddened meditation. If she existed as a jagged puzzle piece of clashing paisley to checks, she refused to seduce herself meekly into it. Her arm was akimbo as she walked, furiously attempting to iron out sinewy knots running along her spine. There was no indication to the success of this method. All Robyn felt was acidulous revulsion of her physicality.  Each troubling ailment was, in any exterior reality, mild in essence; the addition of one upon another saturated her tensions…the accumulation of these tensions originated in a diverse and chaotic entity – her mind.

That place she had come from. Her eroded and putrid path. The scorched earth behind her – it no longer mattered. Nor did the way her heart lurched forward, every chamber throwing a tantrum on her rib cage. The determined route was the way out.

She viewed the ascending escalators with horror. The ease in which they climbed was taunting. She veered right in a sideways slouch towards a staircase. Began counting the one-hundred and nine steps with unordered frenzy. Balancing precariously on the very inside of the spiral, every step a leap, Robyn trembled. Her spacial reasoning redundant, she gestured broken body and beleaguered self. Trekking the mountainous stairs bore weight on her frame. Bulging eyes foretold the hazy bag of her psyche. It scrunched then sprang back, deformed and crumpled.

Hurtling through a lucid maze, she clamoured her hot senseless fingers inside her sheepskin in search of an Oyster card. Keys for doors long shut were attached to items of negligible sentiment. Wires entangled the superfluous objects, heaped upon sloppy remains of life debris clutching to the pocket lining. She identified the card by the border of bite marks around the ridged plastic. Foregoing gesticulations of politeness, she barged to the nearest barrier and slammed the card down. Abandoning it to the floor, she prepared herself for the green mile to breeze at the perimeter of the station concourse.

Victoria Station. Any station. Any tube. Any carriage. Solipsism at its most exemplary. If anyone protruded his or her periscope towards Robyn, it would remain unseen. Ignored. As she charged towards the next available exit, she maintained no dignity. Straggling tails of hair soaked with stress made unsightly waves along her forehead. She hustled illusions that it would all be OK. That she was anonymous. Outside it could all make sense. She attributed her unease and shock to the ailments she suffered stewarding herself through the commute. She staggered through the concourse and collided with a man of six foot. He had an arrogant stature and polygonic presence. His head sprouted in a sneer from a long dusty coat. He surveyed her with a ‘tut’. A ‘tut’ which tanked and muted any of Robyn’s previous mitigations. The ‘tut’ tapped and tinkered around her head like firecrackers. She breathed and stuttered an apology, side stepping this man in a dance of constant blockade. Eventually, the man grew weary of Robyn’s ostensible plight. With seldom recourse, he brushed her aside. Then uttered:

“Fucking Bitch”

Fucking Bitch. Fuck-ing Bitch. Fucking Bitch. Fuck. Bitch. Fuckingbitch.

It all sung along in her head. She stood as if ready to howl at the moon.

Fa-KING B-EACH. Faking beach. Fake paradise. Parasitic bitch. Parasitic man.

He was craning his neck, busying himself with timetables.

As if time mattered any more.

To go fuck his wife. Fuck his woman. Fuck his bitch. She was a fucking bitch.

His fucking bitch. How dare he.

Robyn’s synaptic response to Fucking Bitch was mirrored with an extraordinary meeting and parting of her lips. Her jaw movements became over-exertive – moving with such a force it would not have exceeded expectations if her mouth suddenly erupted with magma.  Hot spewing magma.

How dare he. How dare he fuck a fucking bitch when I’m his fucking bitch.

She clumsily unclasped her bag. She drove her hand in. Twisted her arm. Mangled it into position. The man stood craning. Waiting for a platform number to emerge, orange from the black.

“Go to the black”

“Platform Planet Fucking Bitch”

A firearm bolted out of the bag. Dragging behind it the door of a forearm. The hinge of her elbow. The door slammed shut. Robyn heard a hollow voice not too different from her own forming a nonsense sound. She heard the gunfire in much closer proximity.

The sounds began to reverberate against her ribcage. For a trigger that gave little resistance, the outcry and noise was astounding. The arm and ribcage ached with the ringing force of the gun. Still, her sternum was in a better, more correct, shape than the man’s.

The beach strip before her was becoming miniscule. Down on her knees the sheepskin had slowly slipped passed her shoulders. She felt a breeze. She could hear the moot screams of horror and fear, back on shore. Robyn inhaled the mineral air. She lazily mustered hopes that the distant voices were not warning her of shark-infested waters ahead…


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