Episode 1: Umwelt: The Beast

Red display clicks over from 7:29 to :30. Crackles. Begins to blare. A high-pitched groan escapes from under the duvet; arm follows it like a feeler, a pale tentacle. Knocks the alarm to the floor under the table, still ringing loud. Nest of hair appears, thicket of auburn curls. Cat green eyes beneath, wide with rage. A lean, naked body pogos over the side, hands flailing.

‘Bastard!’ She yells at it, grabs it in both hands. ‘Bloody bastard!’

The alarm hits the far wall, whines down to silence. Sniggering, she whiplashes. Aims for the bed. Slides instead to the floor. Lies groaning, pale pink skin and red nipples, ratty black lace knickers and smeared lipstick. A broken marionette. Sniggers again, husky and vague. Hauls herself up on the bed, launches at the dresser. Stares aghast in the mirror.

‘Oh Margo, love, you look like shit. You look worse than shit. You look like shit someone ate and threw back up.’ She pokes fingers at her face, moans despair.

Runs a tongue over small, sharp teeth, grimaces. Grabs a fag from a scabby pack of Marlboros, sparks up. Sucks deep into rotten lungs, sighs it out, zen-like bliss. Blows smoke at her reflection. Raises a lip at herself, cocky vulgar.

‘Well darling, it’s your own fault, you filthy bitch.’

She retches, whirls, scatters smoke like confetti. Kicks aside rubber and fishnet, a tangled pile of stained pants. Smell is fusty and filth in the drear of morning, makes her giggle and retch and giggle again. Hits the bowl dead centre, clutches belly, nose, choking and spluttering.  Stumbles back to her room.

A little grey tabby wanders in. Tail a signal, a flag. Yowls and yowls. Picks fastidious paws over the mess of the floor. Winds about her ankles, grey seaweed. She snatches it up, rubs it on her cheek, croons.

‘Ullo Mr Rat. Ratty rat, Rat the cat. You been out fucking too?’ She kisses him on the head, a big smackeroo, he purrs fit to pop. ‘I bet you made less mess than me.’

She chuckles. A throaty burr. Careens to the kitchen, fires up the coffee machine. Drops Rat to hunt down food, his claws scrabbling on vinyl. Red light flashes on the ansa phone. She ignores it, stares crazy eyed at the coffee machine.

‘Boil and bubble, mofo. Something wicked wants her caffeine.’

Coffee drills her like a jackhammer, shatters sleep and sick to smithereens. She runs around sipping, grabs her Tolstoy from the sofa, shoves it in her bag. Rifles clothes from a pile on the floor. Red heels, red lace panties, tiny scrap of a red dress. Fresh slash of red lipstick. And she’s singing as she shoves red chopsticks into dark auburn hair. Hot, smoky tones.

‘Red red red red. Fred’s red. Bed’s red. Red red red.’ Rat stares scornful, licking at a back paw, athletic. She sneers at him. ‘Snooty fucker. I’m off, Fatty Rat; enjoy your leisurely ball wash. Don’t expect me home before midnight.’

And the door slams behind her. She’s off. Heels flashing one two as she takes the stairs two at a time. Tries to light another fag and burns hair. Yelps. Burns her finger the second try but smoke’s lit up. She’s giggling and sucking finger and smoking and running down till she hits foyer, door, street.

Races to the underground, down down down again, hurls her body at the barrier, tits up, heels down, card swipe rush rush, sharp elbows jutting into tender ribs and she’s off, laughing at the outrage. Aims for the open doors of her train at high speed, a graceful arc of a jump. Red panties flash. Thump. Aboard.

Fat, suited wanker sat next to the door of her carriage tries for a cheeky fondle, hard fingers pry and poke as she moves to sit. She lights up a fag, ignoring ‘no smoking’, it doesn’t apply to her, blows it in his face. Sits, legs akimbo. Enjoys the way his face turns puce and sweat at the sight of her tatty red knickers. Leans over, throws cleavage into the mix, rips the paper he’s using as hide, as decoy, from his hands.

‘There you dirty fuck, have it for free.’ Leans back, smirks at his fury.

Margo’s skin tingles, prickles sparks and she throws the paper down the train. There it goes. Thud. She’s got him now. Eyes popping fit to bust. Her lips curl feline, rapacious, because she sees the beast beneath the skin. Wants to call it out.

He’s straining his eyes then. Tries to keep looking but she’s fading in and out. Tatty red knickers then the flash of chrome, the glint of brass. He roars. Looks harder, but the knickers won’t stay. And he’s foaming at the mouth, bubbling, brewing. Kapow! Shoulders burst pinstriped seams, fur ripples across in broad black swathes. Face juts out to split to twisted muzzle, rampant with teeth and he drools, snarls.

‘Want the fucking knickers back, bitch.’

Margo rises, pinches his lower jaw, grip like a steel trap, snaps. ‘Get your own.’

Throws him down, a flippant flick of fingers. He scrabbles, whips teeth toward her feet. Hits thin air. Clack. Bones pop and break as the beast escapes. Fingers turn to paws, to claws just as lips and teeth turned to spike filled jaws and she’s pulling her sword. Steel rings a song past wood. Long slash of silver, the end of the line.

Tatty red dress swirls up, reveals brass sculpted to pert buttocks, a scroll of silver from mons to anus. Then the swish. Zing. Edge cutting air molecules, little deaths without screams, only sighs. His too, only a sigh. Arc of bright scarlet spatters red dress, makes it redder yet. Blood steams all around. And she sings, smoking hot.

‘Red red red red. Ted’s dead, he’s lost his head. Red red red.’

© Ren Warom 2011


4 thoughts on “Episode 1: Umwelt: The Beast

    1. Ach, it’s hideous reading on screen, isn’t it? I have plans to release this in illustrated volumes on kindle. Heady, unrealistic plans 😛 If they blossom into reality, you’ll receive a gift copy to read at your leisure 🙂

  1. I went to the wrong episode 1 before, was a bit confused. Got here in the end though.

    I like the immediacy and the visceral feel of this, though I have to admit it makes me blush!

    1. Ah, yes, that’d be a mite confuzzlin’. It gets a bit fruity this first section of Umwelt, so um… yes… there may be a tad more blushing in your future. Please don’t hold it against me!

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