Contact Info / Websites
This story is inspired by Mark Haddon's writing style, and was written mostly for English Creative Writing Coursework.
Bill is a strange man.. he works at a night time garage..he has no friends.. he hardly ever sees daylight... but there is something more sinister to him than the surface... Is it to do with Simon, his annoyingly happy colleague, or is it to do witht he borken microwave?
Bill was a beans on toast sort of man. A lifeless, translucent shell, his job, spare time, social life and indeed love life were altogether empty. No-one cared, because he didn't care, about anything. His late night shift at an all-night filling station meant he could avoid contact with people as much as possible, which for Bill, was exactly what he wanted. This is why he hated Simon. Simon was just about the only person in the world who had ever managed to get a word out of Bill. Simon shared the shift with Bill, and often out of his boredom of having no-one to else to talk to, tried to spark up conversation. He tried to talk about football or music, new, girls, anything. Bill just simply didn't like talking.
After work Bill would normally slump in front of the TV, with a microwave meal warming his lap. He would fill his head with mindless rubbish, which was all he could get at six in the morning. The same routine for nearly twenty six years had left him secure, and satisfied with his life. Not happy, but settled. He left school at sixteen, after gaining an average set of GCSE's. College, in his view, was a waste of time. Its not as if anyone does anything in college other than party, which to Bill, is a private hell. All Bill would like to do is live life from start to finish, as quickly as possible...
. . . .
It was Tuesday night, and Bill had just started his shift, which took him through to early next morning. Bill showed no emotion on his face as he ambled through the doors. He rarely expressed his feelings on the outside, which one on of his weirdest attributes.
"You should play poker!" Simon joked, as Bill shuffled through the store. Bill knew he was just trying to make polite conversation, but was angry. Of course, on the outside he looked exactly the same as always. He wore a permanent frown, with straight thin lips and wispy gray hair. Cold metal square spectacles framed lifeless gray-blue eyes. However scruffy he may seem, Bill was obsessed with personal hygiene. He continually washed his hands, hands that had immaculate nails. His face was always clean shaven every morning, and he never smelled, or went without a bath. His obsession even went to the extent of continually looking in the mirror in the back room. No-one ever went in the back room, so Bill was never seen checking for flecks of food on his face, or a stray piece of lettuce lodged in his teeth. He often lost track of time in that room, with its dark and cramped atmosphere creating a contrast to the brightly lit store. It was a place where he could block out everything without being disturbed. No-one could hear anything through the thick set heavy door, with a strong latching bolt...
The shift was nearly over, and Bill was oddly tired. He never normally got tired, because he slept in the day. It was an odd way to live, in terms of light and dark, seeing as Bill never actually saw much natural daylight. It suited his character, comparing to a nocturnal creature; lonesome and secret. Bill would be the best person in the world if he wanted to hide something.
The last few minutes ticked by, and Bill watched the clock. He was really eager to go home, watch the news with a curry, and go to bed. Finally the little red hand on the clock passed the twelve. Six in the morning. The most peaceful, quite time of all, Bill reckoned. He walked, fatigued, to his shabby 1980s hatchback, completely ignoring Simon. The car had scratched blue paintwork flaking with blood red rust. He unlocked it and drove off, the whine and scream of the engine smothering Simon's words of farewell.
Bill arrived at his small single bedroom bungalow. It was in the middle of a quite estate, just outside Harrowford. He chose it because it was cheap, and close to work. He didn't care one bit about the looks of the house, inside or out. After all, who but he would see it? Stumbling through the double locked door, he slung his keys into the bowl in the kitchen, and without even stopping to take his shoes off, walked into the kitchen. Opening his fridge, which was a mouldy yellowish white, he reached past the microwave toad in the hole, and microwave sag aloo, and took out a microwave tikka. He quickly slammed it into the microwave, and slumped in front of the television. His single armchair in his shabby lounge creaked when he sat down. The chair was once shiny leather, but now was drab and dusty. The part that he sat on had been polished by his trousers, after many, many hours spent sitting, wasting away the time. As he watched an awful family struggle and get humiliated by the host on a chat show, he heard a small pop from the kitchen.
"Fuck." He thought to himself. He sighed, and dragged himself up, and moped through to the kitchen. He had forgotten to pierce the plastic film on his curry, and the contents had exploded in the microwave, splattering red sauce all over the inside. He opened the microwave, and his the remains of his ruined meal slopped out onto his shirt. "Great. Another ruined shirt." He was extremely irritated, not only because he would go hungry and would ruin a shirt, but because all the others were at the dry cleaners. He would have to wear it tomorrow. In his anger, slammed the microwave shut, and doing so he broke the little plastic catch. He sighed, now in despair, and decided he would sort it out tomorrow. He slouched through to the lounge, and fell on the sofa. Now showing was a news broadcast about a missing girl in the area. He fell asleep, with a last few words escaping from the reporter's lips.
"She was known as Emily, aged between nineteen and twenty-one, and always wore a yellow ribbon in her hair. She was last seen in the Harrowford area".
Bill woke at about six next evening. He often slept long periods of time, which may seem like a waste of time, but otherwise all he would do is watch telly, or wander aimlessly in the park down the road. Bill woke up in the armchair, with the six o'clock news blaring, and the stains on his shirt solidified and crusty. Some of them stuck to his skin. He felt awful, but showered and changed his underwear. He gulped down a caffeine pill, and a bad of crisps, with a can of pop to wash it down. Bill knew his diet was poor, but to be honest didn't give two tosses. His weeks' salary on a gym membership last year had proven useless, and he had turned up all of three times. By now he had accepted that he would never get any female company; not that he wanted any; so he figured what was the point in looking good. Who for? And what was the point in eating healthily if he was going to die in ten years time anyway? However, going against all this, he didn't smoke. He couldn't stand the unhygienic habits it brought about. After killing time at home, watching television and snacking on supermarket cola, and a ten-pack of chocolate bars, it was time for work. He got changed downstairs, watching another new broadcast about the missing girl. Emily. The name, oddly wrung a bell. He shook his head, and switched the telly off. As the light died out of the screen, the last words to leave the reporter's mouth were:
"And as I'm sure you all know, she always wore a yellow ribbon", but the rest was drowned out by the scream-like noise the television made when the television lost its power. Yellow ribbon. The words rang in Bill's head. He quickly forgot about it, as he ran through the door.
"Blimey Bill! Looks like you've committed a felony!" Simon exclaimed as he caught sight of Bill's shirt.
"Its curry", was Bill's blunt retort. He was never in the mood for Simon's up-beat annoyance, and especially not today. He had been told that he had voided the manufacturer's guarantee on the microwave, and would have to buy a new one.
"What's up with you, Bill? You never talk, and recently you've seemed even more glum than usual. Is something wrong?"
"Nothing" grunted Bill.
"Me and the guys are going to the pub this Saturday night. Want to join us? It's gonna be a right lau-"
"No.", interrupted Bill.
"But you never-"
"I said NO", insisted Bill, angry now.
Simon let out a low whistle, and chose to stop trying. Bill walked past and searched for the keys to the register. The checked his trousers pocket, where they normally were. Simon piped up.
"Can you smell something? Smells awful in here! I think it's coming from the back room. I'm going to check it out. Can't have the place smelling like dead meat, it'll put the customers off!"
Bill grunted an approval, and carried on searching for the keys. He closed his hands around something in his pocket. The something was unfamiliar. Just as he was bringing the object from his pocket, a man's shout came from the back room. It was a cry of sheer terror, sheer disgust. Bill looked down to his hand. There, in the palm of his left hand, lay a yellow ribbon.
Hope y'all enjoyed it, sleep tight!
Thanks for reading.