The Crow Men Pt II ‘Down into the flying gutter’ ~ René

Down into the flying gutterThe Crow Men Pt II
Down into the flying gutter

2101 words

I named them Chaos and Curiosity. Her right paw and her left paw. I named her furry arse Midnight, and each of her hairs names like: Snake Charmer, Soul Cleaner, Peroxide Mary, and my chin. My face placed against her shuffling arse as she trots through the gutter. Its not like a dream. If you practice, you always know when you are dreaming. But now, I can feel each and every part of this rat. Just like she is my hand. Or a part of my nervous system. Even the bacterium growing inside her jaw is as clear to me as a tube that is too packed to get on.

I looked forward to the weekend all week. And now, now… He doesn’t disappoint. I rub Chaos and Harmony across my whiskers and look up as it begins to rain, and I head back down and continue on my way.

Although I can feel myself being drawn up into the rain, like something has just grabbed a hold of my collar, and is refusing to let me go until I see the complete departing city.

You wont need to go to work on Monday the night says. And you don’t need to breathe. I try to turn my head around to see what is giving me wings. But the lights of the city take away my questions. I wonder where Chaos and Curiosity are walking, and even that, doesn’t matter. I can no longer feel the rat, but my eyes are made of steel, and something crawls across some of my eyes like they are its natural home, and were here first.

From the metallic turret-faces spread through out the city I can see everything. I turn my camera head this way and that, and observe the millipedes of life changing direction, flashing and honking while they move. Some of the denizen’s legs are running. And I know that that girl will not get away unless I can do something.

This strange bodiless compassion for another body, that I want to save from being attacked in a park. As if there is something innate in the lust to connect, and act, and feel rage, like a magnetic chrysalis that might be a soul.

No police near. No one to enforce the law. No help coming. And a dreary park that no one should cut across to try and get home. Ah. She’s drunk and has fallen down. But what can I do. What can I ever do. This is not a dream, this is life. And the thugs are close to the street.

She tries to get up and runs into a bush that separates the park from the street. And your neck is much like mine was a few moments ago, being pulled back by something.

An intimacy in a black park. Three people of the planet who have no idea what is happening. Several have turned into feral creatures, too sad to be kind anymore, and the other feral too, screaming the way people do when fear is 3am on a Friday night.

So many things to see. So much to experience. Ah. A connection, near the base of one of my towers in the park. Ah. A pair of denizens are mating. One of the males leaning on me and using me as support whilst the other male grips him from behind, and pulls his arse against him.

Five lovers in all.

All lovers at different parts of the spectrum. The two men don’t care that their love is lit up below me. I look down and observe them, trying to see the exact expressions on their face. Their open mouthed and silent shouts are lit in yellow incandescence. And the insects that have become fireflies glow, and hypnotise my sight like dancing winged ash in the light around us all.

Oh what is the man behind trying to say. And what message is the bent over man dribbling into the concrete. I must know. I must know the nature of this universal conversation we are having. So I try to zoom in further and record the exact movements of their lips as they sigh violently in binary gasps of bliss. One of them looks up and feels my eyes upon them.

‘Fuck fuck, what’s that?’ The man standing says, reaching down for his jeans.

‘Its nothing nothing, don’t stop.’ The other man says.

‘Its the fucking camera, it just moved! Fuck, lets go.’

‘What the fuck are you on about, why don’t you just finish? Come on…’

The startled men stop their war. One of them more sorry that the war has ended than the other.

‘Oi, what’s that over there?’

‘What? Probably the coppers coming to get a piece of arse.’

‘No, what the fuck…’

Can I move. Can I speak. Can I communicate with my new friends. I want to feel that hand again. I want to say something else into the man’s arm. Maybe I can speak through it. No. Nothing. They’re going away. Nothing. But I will follow! Yes I will follow. Its Friday. I remember Soho. I went there with friends once. We took the piss out of one of the lads because he was sick in the bogs, and he liked to take himself seriously. We told him that he was on his knees in a gay bar after only five minutes.

‘What the fuck? What’s it doing?’

‘Must be knackered or something. Jesus. That’s really weird. Its shaking its head! Its shaking its fucking head! Its gonna bloody come off in a minute!’

Can I stop myself from become insane. Jesus. Look over there. Move move move. Over there for fuck sake. I stop and make the whirring sound again that were my first words. Zooming in and out. And then, I move my head violently to the Northerly part of the park, once, keep it there, them move it back slowly to them, then another sudden look, at what I’m trying to say. Can you hear me. Is there a language beyond language which is known by everyone.

‘What the fuuuuck is it doing…’ They ask themselves without speaking.

Do me a favour. Walk back into the park and head towards the screams. You can’t really hear them properly. You can’t make out that a girl is screaming. But. You must.

You must. You must. You must.

The night is ready and bleeding a little in September. The liquid fuel pumping all the city’s mechanisms is zipped up and leaking into designer fitted jeans. And there is only a small part of the night not awake. All else is flowing. Some of it flows out from Mike’s lips and some of it from Jakes. They share a few drags on a cigarette each and head into the Northerly parts of the park for some reason. Its late. And its time for home. Enough fun for tonight. They wrap an arm around each other like two young scare-crows taking a stroll through London.



I have no limbs but I run with you. And one of you is fitter and less scared. Although scared all the same.



And why am I scared. I zoom in and wish that I could be on the ground with them. Run Mike. Run.

Maybe it was the fact that he didn’t finish. Or maybe there is something in him more savage and more capable than the two men ripping at the girls clothes. But at least, I think to myself, at least he is locked in. He commits. Both of the men running towards the shadows in the park make them out as they get closer. Only one of the shadows, as it grows colour in the shade, has a voice. A young one scrabbling on its back.

But no more time for talk. The adrenalin won’t allow it. Mike leads with his foot into the head of one of the shadows as it looks around. And metal glimmers by the side of the other. The kicking legs of the girl on the ground reach down to pull up some material from her ankles. With the metal no longer near her throat she raises herself to her feet and begins to strike at the man who was holding her, as his friend ungiddys and stands up again, wrapping his arm around Mike’s neck and beginning to choke him.

Jake punches the back of the man’s head holding his partner, breaking several of the bones in his hand, as Mike reaches behind himself and finds the eye sockets of the man choking him, with the last of the oxygen in his lungs. Recoiling, the stranger holds his face as his blood begins to pore, allowing Mike the time to slap him a few times. Jake continues to shake and tells the shadow with a blade to leave. The point swipes at him as Mike stops kicking the man on the ground and rushes towards it pushing Jake out the way.

‘Come then boss, come’ The man says holding the kitchen knife straight and flat, like an ambivalent statue selling a utensil.

The girl’s teeth are visible to me. And I see human face. It is scrunched up and seething. As if someone had only copied animals from humans. And the real expressions of our soul are actually a type of ferocity. A type of salivate gurning creature that understands what hormones are alive in its system more than thought, and is able to calculate that something is required to throw, and that there is a chance of winning the war.

For the MA Business student this was a shoe. Mina kept her eyes on the man holding the knife and lowered her head towards her foot, taking a shoe off and throwing it at the man as Mike lunged in along with Jake.

Holding the man’s wrist with one hand, Mike sent his head in. Celebrating the threats he had made countless times to others, when he had lost and won on the streets in his youth, and the city had jeered at his tight vest, his leather necklace, and his trigger laugh that was high and liked to show off his skin.

My consciousness knows the sirens of wheels and cars, and knows how long it will take for the police to arrive.

There is a knife laying in the ground. And there is so much connection. Boot in face. Digs that are coming from somewhere old. Jakes broken knuckled hand swings back as his shoe goes in too.

‘Lets go.’ The girl says.

That look of skin possessed begins to think.

But only of one thing.

Mina looks around the park and sniffs watching the other blind shadow run away as Mike and Jake continue to kick the one squirming on the floor. She leans down now, picking up an object from the undergrowth. Examines it. Ah. The weapon. You want to… You want to know something about it don’t you. I think I can feel your… peculiar… interest.

Oh you smoke. I didn’t see that coming. You want to watch and smoke and hold the knife, as you do. You want them to stop before there is any more death sprayed, but you fancy a quick smoke too. You remind me. Of what. I. Can’t.

If this were a dream it would have a flavour.

Something I could taste. Always an orientation of knowing that you will return home. Maybe the film is lucid, and I am a part of a crew, and there is a journey into a red shifting desolate land full of broken buildings, not wholly different to watching the Earth as a satellite, or being a part of space; but here, there are only four figures left, and I remember this park, where I am now, I have looked up at this camera before. I have been exactly where I am before now, except from a different time. And I have walked through this park after finishing work. Yes! I remember. And I am shocked at how quick I have adjusted. I know this place. Again and again.

I couldn’t see the grass as I can now, where a hood with a head inside is kicked, and, what else, yes, something happened, I remember smoking, I remember how much I loved this city, I remember walking through East London, and sometimes taking short cuts through this park. Nothing has changed. Except that I can’t smoke now for some reason. And my pockets don’t have any change in them. I think that Friday has passed. Perhaps this student will share her smoke with me.



is Raoul Moat in a boat. His first words were ‘Newky Brown’. As well as being our most prolific writer, René also creates graphic art, paintings and screenplays.

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