Thread: Jock - a story
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:55 AM
seandeville seandeville is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: UK
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Jock - a story

Jock part 1

By

Sean Deville



Jock awoke to the sound of shouting, and the sound of screams, and for a second he felt like he was still in his nightmare. His head pounded from the previous nightís (ok letís be honest, previous day and nightís) alcohol consumption, and his mouth felt like it was growing a layer of fur, his tongue seemingly stuck to the inside of his teeth, which were clenched with the effects of the silent terror that visited him in almost every dream.

Rolling onto his back, he slowly sat up, pushing the soiled sleeping bag away. He lost control of his bladder so often now he hardly even cared anymore.
At first, he didnít know if the sounds of human peril were a remnant of his fantasy, or should that be his own personal hell? The terrors plagued him constantly, waking him at night, his breath caught in his throat, his one good fist clenched ready to strike out at the demons that tried to possess him. But there never were any demons, just ghosts from the past who haunted him relentlessly. Until today that was. Now the fiends were far from imaginary, because this time the sounds of the damned were from the real world.

His head itched from the lice that infested him, and he scratched almost on automatic drawing blood, the skin there so damaged. Blinking the sleep out of his eyes, he looked out at the main street from the deep recessed doorway he had recently claimed as home. He wasnít quite sure he understood what he saw, but he understood what he heard. He knew screams, he had lived them during forty minutes of hell on the road to Baghdad all those years ago. A time before now, when his Land Rover had been blown off the road by what later turned out to be some idiotic fighter pilot who couldnít distinguish a British flag from that of Saddamís cronies. Heíd lost an arm in that friendly fire incident, along with a third of his platoon and most of his sanity.

Of course, the sanity didnít leave him straight away. It bled away slowly over the years of what the mind rapers called post-traumatic stress disorder. The alcohol he used to quiet the noise in his head took the rest. He lost his arm, his career, his wife, his kids and he lost his mind all for Queen and bloody Country. Only the Queen didnít give a damn, and neither did the country. He had been sent to fight in a rich manís war and had been maimed for the privilege. And upon reviving after the operation to remove what was left of his savaged and shattered arm, he had known instantly that he would be discarded onto the scrap heap by those he had risked his life for.

ďThanks for all youíve done Jock. Now piss off back to civvy street like a good chap.Ē

They hadnít even given him a medal. And now here he was to watch the end of the world happen.

The streets had become his home. Quiet begging with an air of respectful subservience kept him fed, and kept him in cheap booze which kept the monsters in his mind anesthetised, kept them docile. At least during the waking hours. And his thousand-yard stare kept troublemakers away. Nobody messed with Jock, absolutely nobody. Even the police tended to leave him alone so long as he didnít get too drunk. Because he was strong, and he was dangerous. He still found himself spending the odd night in the cells, but normally he behaved himself so long as he was left alone. And sometimes the cells were his choice, especially in the snows of winter. Sometimes you had to put your pride aside. Sometimes self-preservation came first.

Right now though, the screams of reality grew. In the darkened recess, he went relatively unnoticed by those experiencing the chaos of Scotlandís largest city. There were people fighting, people running and people standing in obvious stunned shock as to what was going on around them. Instinctively he rolled his sleeping bag up, and gathered it together with his rucksack which contained his few meagre possessions. He needed to urinate bad, but that would have to wait. Jock knew danger when he saw it, and he wasnít quite past the point where he would willingly wet himself when he was wide awake. He still had enough dignity left to deny such things during the waking hours.

This was more than a riot. Riots generally didnít have people lying bleeding out on the litter strewn ground, didnít have children being grabbed from their parents and thrown through shop windows. He flinched as he heard a shot, and looking around the corner, he saw two armed police officers, firing off into a crowd approaching them. Jock smiled. This was what he knew would always come. He spent his days watching humanity, watching the human race slowly degrade into depraved beasts. He saw how people treated each other, how they raced through life chasing the almighty pound, trampling over their fellow humans for the slightest advantage to get that promotion, that new car, that pathetic shiny trinket. He saw how people reacted to him, mainly with fear, some with pity. Some with disgust. Jock didnít care, because he saw the truth of who they were, saw everything they were afraid to admit about themselves. As the years passed, he found himself glad to no longer be a part of their rat race. Because eventually he knew the rats would turn upon each other.

As he begged he would sit and watch them, share stories with his fellow homeless, and drink himself into oblivion until the inevitable day when he didnít wake up. That would be a blessing, but Jock now suspected that day of release from this world wouldnít come as planned. Because what he saw around him was worse than what he had predicted would come. This was biblical, but it was perhaps fitting. He had spent hours dreaming of the countries collapse. Society had sent him off to fight and left him a broken man. And when they had deemed him unfixable they had abandoned him to live in the gutters and the doorways. So if this was what he thought it was, it served the ungrateful bastards right.

With his possessions collected, he fled.
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