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Pavement - Victor Saunders

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Short review of "Water, and other stories" (HOTDAY Press, 1997)

"Turn out ya pockets. I haven't got all day."
"Okay man relax. I'm goin as fast as I can."
"Put all the stuff on the bonnet."
"There, that's everything."
"Is that all ya have? A broken watch and a bus pass?"
"Yea man that's it."
"What about money, I D?"
"I left them at home."
"Don't bullshit me man."
"It's the truth."
"It better be. Now spread against the car. Come on get your feet apart."
"Why are ya arresting me?"
"For vagrancy."
"On what grounds?"
"On the grounds that you're begging on the street. That's in direct contravention of city law."
"But I wasn't begging, I was merely sitting on the pavement."
"Then how come there's coins all over the pavement?"
"Because I put them there."
"Are ya sure about that?"
"Yes I'm sure."
"In that case I'll add the charge of littering the streets and jeopardising pedestrian safety to the vagrancy charge."
"Hold on a minute I was only sitting here."
"That's what parks are for."
"But I didn't want to sit in a park I wanted to sit here."
"Why do ya have ta be awkward ah? Everyone else is happy to sit in parks."
"But I'm not everybody else."
"Then what are ya then, a rebel or something?"
"No I'm just a normal guy who felt like sitting on the pavement for a few minutes."
"Normal? We'll let the psychiatrist decide whose normal."
"Psychiatrist? Why do I have to see a psychiatrist?"
"So he can gave ya some help with ya problem."
"But I haven't got a problem."
" That's for the psychiatrist to decide. Now get in the car!"
"Where are ya takin me?"
"To the station."
"But I haven't done anything wrong."
"Listen man. I don't make the laws I just enforce em. Save your grypin for the judge."
"So I'm to be prosecuted for sitting on the pavement ?"
"That's up to the prosecutor. Nothin to do with me."
"Is any of this anything to do with you?"
"Nope. I'm just doin my job."
"And what jobs that?"
"The job of keepin freaks like you off the streets."
" Why do ya think I'm a freak?"
"Because only a freak would sit on a pavement and throw money everywhere."
"I earned that money fair and square. Surely I can do what I want with it."
"Do what you want with it? Hah! Do ya think I get to do what I want with my money?"
"I would hope so."
"Well keep hopin cause I don't. See most of my hard earned wage goes on tax's, which in turn subsidises the lives of losers like you."
"I pay taxes too."
"Ha and who was that to? Ya local smack head gangster."
"No to the government like you and everyone else."
"Very fuckin funny."
"Are we at the station?"
"Why are we stopping here then?"
"Because I have something to do."
"Like what?"
"Take off your cuffs, release ya. Stuff like that."
"Why ?"
"Because it's the right thing ta do."
"So I can just walk away a free man?"
"Yes you can walk away a free man."
"How come you changed your mind?"
"Guess I did that's all."
"Okay then, good bye."
"Hey one thing before ya go."
"How does it feel to be dead?"
"Dead? I'm not dead."
"Ya are now."


Victor Saunders (United Kingdom)


Another short story by Victor Saunders on this site.

Notice © Victor Saunders 1995. All rights reserved.

Cover by Michael Forbes

Seven short stories and poems about the human thirst for power and the desolation it causes. In this bleak little book there is no escape from the violence, not even in revenge. The seven episodes carry the reader along several kinds of desert: from murderous hell to artificial paradises. Nowhere is water to be found.
In one of the best stories, Ever Turning Circle, Anton Rashad describes the cowardice of a gladiator trainer in the face of the horrid oppression of a Roman aristocrat. In the arena his favorite gladiator is sacrificed to the whims of a powerful elite and the public of angry victims. The trainer keeps silence in front of a people that is thirsting for violence and hates himself for it. In the fight for survival there are no heroes.

  • Our boy by Victor Saunders
  • Water by Shelly Jacobs
  • Storytime by Rebecca Gilley
  • Edges by Rebecca Gilley
  • Routine 1996 by Victor Saunders
  • Ever Turning Circle by Anton Rashad
  • Spoil by Shelly Jacobs

Hotday, PO Box 13851, London EC1Y8TS, UK
Email: Hotday@envo.demon.co.uk or Patrick@envo.demon.co.uk
(printed by Gandhi printing, London)

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