I don’t do trigger warnings but even I was a bit disturbed by the subject matter of ‘Blue Whale’, our stimulus for this challenge. It’s effectively an online game, supposedly in Russia, which involves grooming an individual to fulfil tasks as part of a “game” which ultimately resolves into the player committing suicide as the last challenge. If I was being flippant I could draw a comparison with #28PlaysLater but you know… Anyway, readers of a sensitive nature may wanna skip this one.
Peace and love xoxo
Challenge 9 – Due 10/02 at 09:59:59am GMT
Be inspired by either:
Nighttime. Gaz’s car is parked up in the car park of a local beauty spot. Gaz and Shaz are sitting in the front. Dave is in the back seat. They are hysterical with laughter.
Gaz: and… and… and… then when you… his face…
They fall about with laughter again.
Shaz: him… standing there in front of the car bonnet. And her face…
Dave: and to actually bring a dog with them…
Shaz: I suppose they took it all too literally.
More giggles. Shaz pulls out a small bottle of vodka.
Gaz takes the bottle and takes a huge swig. Dave takes his turn.
Dave: we’re running low.
Gaz: we can stop at the polski schlepp on the way back.
They sit in silence drinking and peering into the darkness. Shaz lights up a cigarette. Boredom settles.
Shaz: i think that’s them done for the night.
Dave: filthy beggars but still tucked up with cocoa by nine.
Gaz: what a life hey?
They sit in silence for a bit longer. Shaz finishes her cigarette and chucks the butt out the window.
She puts on her seatbelt.
Shaz: let’s go get a chicken doner and a 12 pack.
Gaz: well, I’ve got this stuff…
Shaz: you mean so new shit ugly Darren has cooked up…
Dave: he’s not that ugly.
Shaz: only because you’ve never seen him sober.
Gaz: yeah she’s got a point he’s fucking ugly. Anyway, no it’s nothing ugly Darren has cooked up. It’s some new shit – blue whale…
Dave: like the big fish?
Shaz: well something definitely sounds fishy.
Gaz: it’s new and it does this thing right, like padron peppers-
Dave: you what?
Gaz: these peppers. They taste shit but every so often one blows your head off-
Shaz: sortof vegan roulette-
Gaz: pretty much.
Dave: why have you bought peppers on a night out?
Shaz: no dipstick he’s bought the blue whale stuff. So what’s actually in it?
Gaz: fuck knows but according to ugly Darren-
Shaz: ah here we go-
Gaz: most of it does nothing-
Gaz: absolutely sod all.
Gaz: but one in three…
Dave: tell me more brave leader-
Gaz: one in three… gives you the high of your fuckin life.
Shaz: That’s stupid. why wouldn’t you just take three pills?
Shaz: if one does nothing but taking another would, surely you’d just take a handful.
Dave: she’s got a point Gaz.
Shaz: 5 GCSEs and no shits.
Gaz: well that’s the catch…
Shaz: there we are…
Gaz: every so often you get one and it. well. it could kill you.
Shaz: yeah. you lost me. i’m not taking any nazi bunker death wish shit. you’d ru
Gaz: but it’s not true is it.
Dave: how do you reckon that?
Gaz: no one would make a tab where you killed your customers. that would be ridiculous. you’d run out of customers.
Shaz: you mean who would you sell all your other safe shit too like smack and crystal?
Dave: yeah i think i’m with Shaz on this. it either sounds like shit or is bullshit.
Shaz: If ugly Darren is involved probably both.
Gaz: Ok, ok. it was just a suggestion.
They all sit there in silence.
Dave: I mean… it wouldn’t hurt to look…
Gaz ferrets round in his jacket. He pulls out a small bag of bright blue pills. He waves them at Shaz who rolls her eyes. Dave holds out his hands and Gaz drops a blue pill into his palm. Dave takes a closer look.
Dave: look Shaz, it’s got a little whale on it.
Dave: you didn’t even look at it. it looks like a chip off a urinal cake.
Shaz: It’s off ugly Darren. it probably is a chip off a urinal cake.
Dave: yeah. fair point.
Gaz: it ain’t and i will prove ya.
Gaz takes a pill out the baggie and quickly swallows it.
Dave: does it taste of urinal cake?
Gaz: yeah actually. a bit.
Shaz: how do you know what urinal cake tastes like?
The boys exchange looks and then grin at her.
Shaz: i see.
Dave suddenly swallow the pill.
Shaz: well there goes what little respect i had for you.
Dave: join us.
Dave: join us.
Shaz: Dave, stop being a dick.
Gaz: never saw you as a party pooper Shaz. Must be all that responsibility finally kicking in.
Shaz: screw you.
Gaz: nah, it would be too like shagging Dave’s mum
Dave: that’s not funny and it’s still a sore point
Gaz: comeon Shaz. like you said, it’s all bullshit anyway. looks see – nothing has happened.
Shaz: oh for fuck’s sake
Shaz holds out her hand. Gaz drops a small blue pill into her palm and Shaz chucks it back.
They all sit in silence.
Shaz: how long you supposed to-
Shaz: we’re going to miss the kebab shop-
Dave: The Soggy Kebab is open until 2 am
Shaz: but Gaz drives like a 90-year-old
Dave: true that
Shaz: what now?
Gaz: omagod this is…
Shaz: the most boring night of our lives.
Gaz is looking intensely at Shaz.
Gaz: so beautiful
Gaz reaches out to touch Shaz. She leans back and puts her foot on Gaz’s chest to keep him away.
Shaz: a little help please?
Dave: yeah sorry.
Dave jumps out the car. He opens the driver’s side and hauls Gaz out. He drags him round the car and drapes Gaz across the hood. Gaz gazes at the star his eyes are wide and he’s grinning. He starts laughing hysterically again. Shaz gets out the car. She watched as Gaz slumps to the ground, laugh-crying.
Dave: well it certainly reinforces your question about the kebabs.
Shaz: can you drive?
Dave: no. we’d die.
Shaz: me neither. police are basically on the look out for me since the thing with the yellow peugeot.
Dave: don’t suppose-
Shaz: no. you’ve spent too much time watching the doggers.
Shaz: do you think he’s ok?
Dave: he looks happy enough. sort of.
They both watch Gaz. He’s currently experience the glories of the cosmos.
Dave: lucky bastard.
Shaz: it’s all probably e. Gaz has always been a light-weight.
Shaz: remember bournemouth? under the pier.
Dave: yeah that was crackin.
Shaz: i’ve never been able to look at a stick of rock again.
Dave: me neither.
Dave: nice night.
Shaz lights up another cigarette.
Gaz screams. Shaz and Dave jump.
Shaz: shit. what’s wrong?
Gaz: only geeks stuck in the 90s still go for synchronised modular capability.
Shaz: you what Gaz?
Gaz: A small mercy welcomes spring!
Dave: i really wish i’d had what he’s having.
Shaz: i’m not because there be to massive idiots to deal with. here help me get him up.
Dave: what you going to do?
Shaz: walk him around a bit. see if that sobers him up.
Gaz: a shooting star could please even the most demanding follower of Freud.
Dave and Shaz pull Gaz up and drape one of his arms over each of their shoulders. The walk him up and down in front of the car.
Gaz: a great silence is omni-present, much like candy.
Shaz: who knew he’d know these words.
Dave: he’s dead bright really.
Shaz: then why is he friends with you?
Dave: the banter.
Gaz: an enigma would kindly inquire something about you. so shiny.
Dave: yes Gaz. shiny.
Shaz: Dave, how you feeling?
Dave: fine. You?
Shaz: yep. Gaz?
Shaz: i don’t even know-
Gaz: consciousness consists of supercharged electrons of quantum energy. “Quantum” means a maturing of the psychic.
Dave: so apparently blue whale turns you into a hippie
Gaz: no. no no. you don’t understand. you and I are spiritual brothers of the solar system.
Shaz: well at least he’s not still trying to stroke me.
Dave: maybe the pills turn you into a genius.
Shaz: don’t even think about it. there just aren’t enough pills.
Gaz: the world is radiating morphic resonance.
Suddenly Shaz drops to her knees. She is coughing and heaving. Gaz’s weight pulls him down on top of her.
Dave: Shaz? Shaz?!
Shaz is struggling. Trying to push Gaz off but he’s a dead weight spouting nonsense.
Dave kneels down to try to help Shaz. He also starts coughing.
Coughing over takes his body. They blood and spit are coughed up. First by Shaz and then by Dave.
Gaz: the goal of transmissions is to plant the seeds of empathy rather than the raging horn.
Shaz is struggling to breathe. She chokes and wheezes. Finally she stops fighting and is still. Dave is not far behind her, he tries to get up, tries to place a call on his phone. Faintly the voice of an emergency service worker can be heard. Dave drops the phone and puts his hand to his throat. Dave crumples to the floor. He struggles, but gradually, finally stops.
Gaz is unaware of all this. He kneels between the two bodies, eyes to the sky, exultant.
Gaz: The world is full of electrical impulses. They stop and start and change, shifting between being and un-being. And we open ourselves up to the intrench-able impossibility of life. for that is living.
Gaz laughs. He laughs and laughs and laughs.
The lights fade.