And Then, Kit Slept
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It was the bright colours of the tattoo that caught his attention.

On the back of her neck, were two eyes. They were different colours - ‘heterochromia iridum’ his brain supplied, seeking out the word against the litres of cider and the different coloured pills that rattled inside – and they were staring right at him.

To be fair, they were staring at everyone in the bus station, but Kit could have sworn that the eyes only had eyes for him.

There was nothing else particularly striking about this passerby that would mark her out against the deluge of people who had come past as he waited for his ten-to-eleven bus, which was now meant to be at eleven twenty-one. She kept her hair shaven fully on one side, and long on the other, just grazing her shoulder in length.


"Safety awareness. Suicide."

It reminded him of graffiti he had seen once in Brighton. Sanctioned graffiti – the worst kind. She – the subject of the graffiti – was the same as the girl who had just passed, only her hair was longer and a different colour and she probably had a different face, so she wasn’t really like the girl at all so much as she was just painted onto a building to appeal to both men and women alike.

What was she advertising again?

An app, that was it.

And it was about…

“Safety awareness. Suicide.” Kit mumbled, not sure if he wasn’t aware of the middle aged woman staring at the man talking to himself or if she was even actually there at all.

The graffiti was rumoured to be haunted. People swore up and down, left and right, port and starboard, that the advert had only caused a spike in suicides amongst young people. Kit may have believed that once, because rumours are rumours are rumours are rumours are –

What was he thinking about again?


Kit may have believed that once, but now he had seen things and felt things and fucked things that no-one else knew of – amazingly beautiful things, indescribable horrors he scribbled in notebooks with his heart racing and his breath short, things that were meant to be mundane but spoke and looked and stared at him.

Kit wondered what it would be like to touch the tattoos on the girl’s neck. Being eyes, they would most likely blink, and he would feel the soft folds of their eyeshadow-coated eyelids. He marvelled about the things this girl must have seen, with eyes in the back of her head.

Pulling his hood over his head, he stalked out of the bus station the very second his bus to a new life appeared. He dismissively crumpled his ticket in his hand and took a last puff on his cigarette before flicking the butt into a nearby drain. Wait. He hadn’t smoked in nearly five years. He had just flicked his vaporizer into the void. Fuck, not again. He took a breath of clean air, then continued to walk the direction he had seen the girl go.

His thoughts distracted again, as they often did, to the app that was supposed to save lives. Maybe people relied too heavily upon it. In times where you can get an app that pipes music into your brain and pre-orders your coffee, maybe people believed a click of a button would stanch bleeding or place a chair under struggling feet. Maybe people still need people after all, and maybe his self-imposed isolation would cause his own death. Maybe no-one needed anyone, and humankind had to let go of the idea of love and lust and trust and –

He was tired again. He felt like the z-drugs in his system which granted him a few hours respite a night was still buzzing around there, despite the coffee he had downed at the bus station cafe. It was easier to blame the drugs, even the legal ones, for everything that went wrong. It was harder to blame his own brain and feet for causing him to walk seven kilometres out of his way in pursuit of a girl he had seen once. A girl who, when he spotted her a second time around quarter of the way into his journey, had burst into many different coloured butterflies and flown away into the sky.

Since he had accepted this fact, he had just been walking. His mind rambled and his stomach was hollow, but the butterflies would eventually have to land and reform themselves into the girl. Then he could touch her eyes – the tattoo, not the real ones, he reminded himself – and he would feel peace in his own system.
But he was so weary. He felt an ache down to his very bones and suddenly missed his future home where he knew there would be pills and drinks waiting. The sky was already darkening, and he was miles away from anything he knew, but that rarely troubled him.

No-one was waiting on the other side, after all.

Kit flopped onto a drizzly rain-coated bench. He stared at the sky with the heaviness of more impending rain, and realised it smelt of cinder, perfuming everything around him.

Kit rolled onto his side and stared at the grass, curling long legs under himself so he fit neatly on the bench.

And then, Kit slept.

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