The continuing adventures of Kenny. If you like it, don’t forget to hit that button, or even give it a share. I’m not fussy.
Over the next gasping hours, the story, insofar as I could discard the inevitable Loonford wings and tails, began to congeal.
The guy was a Dublin miscreant who’d got some local girl pregnant and decided to leg it to England. Before heading off however, he’d decided to augment his nest egg by robbing a bookmaker’s in the next street (prior to the advent of UROK, bookies’ and pubs were the only businesses to ever turn a consistent profit in Loonford).
The robbery had gone dreadfully wrong. The intrepid Loonford bookmaker had shown himself less than willing to part with the cash. A couple of shots had gone off, the trog had escaped to his car, discovered that it wouldn’t start, shot out the windscreen as a gesture of … who knows?… and run off in search of God knows. A hostage? A place to hide?
I went through the next days like one of UROK’s finest, a zombie utterly disconnected from reality. I gave the remaining components of my family a good laugh by looking for some time off to recover.
Part of my problem, when I was finally able to think slightly, was the growing suspicion that my continued existence owed itself to, not luck or wisdom, but some weird perversion of biochemistry. I was desperate to get in touch with Kenny, both to thank him and ask what the fuck was going on.
The Loonford girl with the trainee American accent told me that no, the company did not give out the personal phone numbers or addresses of employees or subjects. They could shoot the guy full of time bending poisons, but they wouldn’t hand out his phone number.
As it happened, Kenny remembered enough to collect my gratitude. He showed up about a week later, asking to borrow fifty quid (the price of a life?). I thanked him like a maniac. I almost cried. I think I might have even tried to hug him, a gesture which might very well have resulted in Kenny taking back the gift he had bestowed only the week before.
For the very first time in our intermittent contacts, I became forceful. Perhaps being so close to death had made me brave. I demanded to know what was going on. Was he now actually able to see the future, and if so, what were next week’s lottery numbers?
“It’s not like dah,” he said.
“What is it like then?”
“It’s all sorta – bunched up like … I tink I been asleep like, like I just had a nap or sometin’ like, an’ next ting I’m walkin’ round not knowin’ where I am … hearin’ stuff I know can’t be happenin’ like.”
“Like de company’s gonna go bust like. Der’s gonna be some sort o’ scandal … an’ dey’ll lose billions like … and no more UROK like, de whole fuckin’ ting gone like … but I dunno when or how it’ll happen … when I see tings it’s already happened … an’ no one tells me how. Jesus, I don’t want de fuckin’ company to go bust.”
“Have you told them?”
“No. Yeh don’ wanna go round tellin’ dem tings like dat. Dey might bump yeh outa de testin.’ I mean fuck, I’ve never had dis much money in me life.”
“The drug, the one that makes you see the future. Is that what it’s supposed to do?”
“Fuck no. Dey haven’t a clue about any o’ dah. No, I tink it’s supposed to be for dem fellas like, de ones who go round tinkin’ der sick all de time.”
“Dat’s de one, yeah.”
“Jesus. Have you – have you seen anything else about me, in the future like?”
“Fuck yeah, dat’s wad I came to tell yeh.”
“Yer gonna meet dis wan in a little while right, fuckin’ real stunna like. Yeh’ll meet her down de pub and go back ta her place, an’ she’ll be all over yeh like. An’ yeh’ll want ta chuck de lot and move in with her an’ stuff, but yeh can’t. Yeh can’t.”
“‘Cos yeh find out after a few weeks dat she’s a fuckin’ psycho. She’ll start by follyin’ yeh round everywhere, throwin’ plates an’ shit, but later yeh’ll be asleep wan night right, an’ she’ll try an’ slice yeh balls off widda steak knife. Serious now. No messin.’ She’ll almost get yeh too. Yeh’ll be in hospital fer munts like. Yeh’ll never be the same again like.”
“What? All because of one night after the pub?”
“I’m only sayin’ like. Y’asked. Dat’s all.”
I met her only a couple of weeks later, with a group of people I vaguely knew. There’s little point in describing her, merely to record the fact that she was, indeed, achingly gorgeous and (it seemed) heartbreakingly interested.
I felt helpless under the frank stare she insisted on fixing me with, but then I remembered Kenny’s warning, pictured the sinews of my manhood being dismembered by her lovely little hand. It wasn’t even a question of it and I never being the same again (what was so great, after all, about the way we were?), it was simply the knowledge that I couldn’t sustain the piercing, unspeakable pain she was destined – whether she knew it or not – to wreak upon me.
There was also the deeply uneasy wondering about just how much of my putative private life Kenny had actually seen, even if what he saw was no more than a matter of quantum possibility, it was just best not to think about that, not think at all.
I summoned every nerve ending of resistance and invented a sudden family emergency that required my attention. Since the homicidal volatility of my family was well known around Loonford, it wasn’t difficult to convince the gathering. She regarded me with an expression which, I knew even then, would haunt me for many, many years.
I froze on the point of grabbing her, planting a kiss on her porn star lips, and telling her that I’d never forget her face for as long as I lived, but I knew this was far too risky, so I just left, my machismo dead but my mechanics intact, for now at least.