posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 03:31 PM
This short story is basically about how unemployed people are often viewed as lazy, uncouth and with nothing else better to do by society, when in
fact many are dying to get a job. Perhaps it is a little different since the economic crisis, but I still encounter it sometimes in people when I
speak about unemployment.
I'm a journalist by trade but I enjoy creative writing a lot more but am unsure if I'm any good at it so criticise all you want, but be fair.
Poor Jimmy, he only wanted a few more hours in bed. His head was cracked in two halves and his throat was a back firing exhaust. Deep beads of sweat
rolled down his face. His skin was that of a chicken’s that’d been plucked dead, chilling in an industrial fridge for a few days. Pale was not
even the word.
He rose slowly from his sweaty bed, saturated and cold. He managed to get out from underneath the covers, which to him, felt like a hundred and
twenty kilos on the bench press. He was weak.
Jimmy shuffled over to the mirror and stared into it, wincing as he watched his frail body swaying slowly. His bedclothes were soaked flush,
sticking to everything. He vomited a bit and it dribbled out down his dry chapped lips and onto his skeleton feet.
Poor Jimmy, so ill.
He sat in the bath tub with the shower on for a whole hour, willing the piercing hot water to bring him back to some kind of manageable existence.
Instead of the warmth that hailed down onto his body, he felt only the cold where the water missed him.
He rubbed at his eyes, two counter sunk holes of darkness from which his bloodshot eyeballs peered out all pink and milky like a stoned rabbit.
Poor Jimmy, totally sick and with an appointment to keep.
After his skin had turned to that of a witches; Jimmy slid out of the bath and slithered into his room, wrapping a towel around his frail bones.
He pulled on his clothes, and with each button that he did up on his shirt, the points of his fingers screamed out in pain, a dull stabbing. He
grabbed a jumper and pulled it over his head, his joints feeling as if they were made of glass.
Jimmy was poorly, yet only last night he felt well enough to watch TV and read a magazine. It’s funny how things can go from average to terminal
in a matter of hours.
He blew his nose and blood blotted out with a black snotty bogie that held onto the insides of Jimmy’s nostrils with thin stringy ropes of bloody
snot, desperate not to leave. He rubbed it clean with his sleeve before sitting down on his bed for a while, shivering in between hot flushes.
Jimmy had to keep an appointment, yet he was falling apart. Surely he couldn’t leave his house like this? Perhaps they’ll understand he
thought, desperate for a few more hours of sleep.
He went through his drawers before finding a few pieces of folded up paper. He glanced the number written on it and picked up the phone.
‘Hello?’ he asked as the person on the other end picked up. ‘Yes, Jimmy Brodick … HE 12 16 13 5 C … Yeah, I–’
As he spoke the fuzzy voice that came from the ear piece cut him short.
Jimmy listened for a moment.
Then again he spoke, ‘Well, the thing is sir, I’m really ill, I can’t even breath properly and I’ve been sick just this morning, I know I
have an appointment today but I don’t think–’
The voice was muffled and speaking quickly in bursts. Jimmy sighed and rubbed his temples as he listened.
‘Please,’ he said. ‘I really do need the money, and I’ve been trying so hard to–’
The voice cut him off again, it spoke a few moments and then stopped.
‘Okay,’ said Jimmy. ‘I’ll be there.’
The line went quiet and Jimmy hung up to the dead tone.
People always think teenagers are either hung-over, or on drugs when they say they’re ill.
He pressed his thin face into his pillow and sobbed for a while, shamelessly, no one else was there anyway, what did it matter? Poor Jimmy felt so
terrible he would’ve cried in the streets, filling the gutters with tears and swimming down into the drains with them. He didn’t care about a
thing at that point, he just wanted to sleep or die.
Jimmy wobbled slowly down the road, headed for the bus stop but falling before he got there. He lied in the dirt for a while and his stomach was a
warm and unpleasant knot of last night’s food, mulled up amongst parasites and sickness. He convulsed a little and expelled the rest of his guts
into the grass around him and some fell all down his clothes but he didn’t care, poor Jimmy didn’t even try to flick it off.
He made it onto the bus, a long can of musty carbon dioxide laced with sweat and breath from others, all moving slowly but surely on its wheels.
Buses he thought, all taking people to different destinations whilst travelling the same route, day in, day out.
Jimmy sat down next to a beautiful woman, aging and most likely missing her younger years, but all the more alluring because of it. Jimmy cracked a
small smile and she ignored him and stared out the window at the oncoming traffic. He sniffed and looked the other way, down at the walkway leading to
the front of the bus.
The heat in the bus swamped Jimmy and his face began to piss sweat and snot streamed out of his nose. He wiped and daubed at his face with his
sleeve until his white skin went red raw and prickly.
Jimmy turned to the woman next to him, who was still gazing out of the window with her brown eyes.
‘Excuse me … miss, please could you open the window. I’m not feeling too great and–’ as Jimmy spoke she ignored him, blatantly, before
pulling out some earphones from her pocket and placing them in her ears, all without so much as a glance toward poor Jimmy Brodick.
As the bus came to Jimmy’s stop he managed to work up a run, barging past everyone as they cussed him out for it on the bus. The moment he hobbled
through those folding doors and into the cold air of the open he vomited violently all over the pavement. People stepping off the bus screwed their
faces up at him, disgusted that he would dare to be ill anywhere but his own home. Little did anyone else know though, Jimmy had an appointment to
He’d tried to change it, but they just wouldn’t allow it.
Jimmy took his body through the cold air and he felt as if he were a ghost, so cold and ill that he probably was. Only a few more yards and he’d be
through those doors, amongst the scourge and the unfortunate, a place where people from different classes had to congregate due to either misfortune
or laziness. A strange paradox in which the tracksuit clad drug slingers subsidised their loot whilst the rat racers collected their dues after
falling from grace. No matter where we go, someone is robbing us.
Jimmy stepped through the doors and handed a small book to someone waiting for him and everyone else. At last, Jimmy could rest again.
The trembling lucid boy sprawled out on an uncomfortable green plastic chair, caring less for anyone staring at his blatant disregard for decorum.
How dare he be so ill? Little bastard.
After what seemed like a lifetime flashing before his eyes, Jimmy’s name was called out from a distant chip board cubicle.
He rose and made his way over to the cubicle. A huge disgusting morbidly obese woman sat behind it with a card swinging around her neck, on it read
the words ‘Careers Advisor.’
Jimmy pulled out the seat but instead of sitting he propped himself up on the desk with his hands, staring at the surface below.
‘Mr Brodick … are you okay?’ she asked impatiently.
Jimmy raised his head which almost snapped his neck and nodded at her.
‘Well then, please sit down, how has your job search been going?’
‘Fine thanks.’ said Jimmy, blood spraying out of his mouth and onto her fat face as he spoke.
With this he fell backwards onto his back, smashing the chair out of the way and his limbs spread in different directions.
He took his last breath.