Changing up the pace of the blog this week with a short story. What's that? No! Of course plenty of interesting things have been happening in my life this week, it's a constant fucking rollercoaster man!
Barry Purt stirred violently from a rich slumber. ‘BOOF’ went his head on the angled attic ceiling as he shot up poker straight from his bed. Minutes later as he woozily stuttered down the staircase he could still feel the reverb from the knock whizzing around his teeth and gums, making his pudgy cheeks flush crimson. Putting a hand to the banister to steady himself he decided that a spot of breakfast could put paid to the degenerative effects of an early morning head trauma.
Barry was fond of butter. Intensely so. He would huff and wheeze about its virtues, textures, colours and tastes to anyone polite enough to listen. He would elucidate further on regional varieties, rare breeds of butter-bred Friesians and elaborate churning methods used in the Netherlands. And, if you still managed to somehow remain enthralled by Barry’s inane whitterings by this stage, his hot, sour butter breath insinuating itself into your ear canal would inevitably begin to make your stomach churn in giant revolving tumbles of acrid gas and acid, bubbling up in an innate reaction to both Barry’s grandiose tales and repellent physical appearance. It was due to Barry’s freakish passion that he rapidly became known in social circles as the ‘Knob of Butter’
Barry loped into his small kitchenette, resting a portion of his gut on the breakfast bar whilst spreading his thick fingers into his matted brittle hair in search of the rapidly forming new lump amongst all the old ones. His head was beginning to resemble a sort of half cooked potato, slimy and viscous, pock marked and bruised with a sprouting of unevenly shod mud coloured bracken coming out of the top in place of hair.
Eventually giving up on his futile search, he commenced on hoving his quivering bulk towards the fridge, his bare feet collecting the detritus from a graveyard of crumbs which littered the untended floor. He swung the door to and it opened with a sticky pop. To watch Barry survey the myriad golden treats before him was reminiscent of the futile wealth of Croesus, his tongue lolling and clucking as his beady sunken eyes swept over the amassed gold bars which radiated with the light of a million buttercups. There were mountainous ranges of ochre cream, cleft and sculpted over time by lukewarm butter knives. Delving deeper you could find balled rolls of foil tucked near the back, foreign in origin with impressive lettering denoting flavours or regional characteristics. There were even big beige supermarket tubs causing a rabble in the bottom drawers where space was limited. They all had a place in Barrys fridge, mini deities who would see such frequent worship upon altars of toast like little butter Buddha’s.
Barry grasped at a particularly indulgent butter from the back of the fridge, coating his entire forearm in smears from the jostling assembly in the process, literal elbow grease the kind of like which had never been mustered in a less literal sense either personally or professionally. A butter from the Alsace region in France, this particular brand had been coveted by Barry for years, he scoured websites for insight into the creators near alchemical prowess in butter-craft, translating by hand anything he came across, even going so far as to attempt conversation with the master creamer in a stilted and rudimentary French patois over an expensive and not particularly informative phone call. When at last the day came and the consignment of butter from Alsace arrived, Barry eyed it lustily, it was such a small package really, one golden bar ensconced in delicate foil, that it would be it for the entirety of the fickle butter season that year. If it perhaps underwhelmed him in size, it more than compensated in taste, in many ways it was the finest butter he had sampled. It yielded slowly to glance of a knife, if at first it seemed resist it then gave itself over wholly to manipulation once inspired by heat. On the tongue it flirted tenaciously with your taste buds before revealing sweet undulating waves of sensation which pulsed and danced and quivered before sliding down your gullet leaving trails of sunset and salt and eyes bulging at hidden orgiastic delights. This was why Barry had rationed and not squandered it unlike many others whose fate lay in the coagulated mess of arteries buried deep in Barrys fat fortress.
Today would be different however, Barry needed succour, something to ease his lump and appease the lump himself, he resolved to consume the entirety of the remaining Alsace.
Peeling back the foil a large nub of Alsace greeted him, slowly beginning to shimmer on top as the powerful morning light started to motivate it into golden life. Barry salivated and licked the corners of his mouth to prevent frothing.
Reaching instinctively towards his favourite butter knife he stopped short, retracting his meaty appendage as he noted that all along, right up to his elbow, was still coated in a fine lacquer of butter from before which now swam and dripped from arm hair and off fingers and wrist as it congealed with porous sweat in the baking sunlight.
Barry had lived forty-five indolent years, mainly alone, spurring friendship and camaraderie in favour of spunking his life away into meaningless and abhorrent pursuits, which is mentioned only now so as to provide at least some justification to the events that follow.
Barry began to lick and tongue at his arm, slopping wadges of half sweat, half butter into his greasy maw, at first tentatively - casting furtive glances at no one in particular, and then ferociously, voraciously yelping as it gurgled through his gelatinous passageways. Everything that happened next occurred in such a frenzy that no one is still sure of what abnormality of physicality resulted in Barry being flung from the safety of his kitchenette into the wilds of his weed infested garden and beyond.
At some point during his frenzy he loosened his dressing gown and underwear and began to massage the famous Alsace down his gut and thighs and feet. Inertia failing him as he worked it between his toes he felt himself fall head over heels, the crumb encrusted floor rushing up to meet his face, a constellation of delicious abandoned stars as his podgy head crashed into them.
After that, deep dark black nothingness washed all over.
And then, a feeling of déjà vu, Barrys eyes sparked open just in time to see that he was once again about to swan dive into the kitchen floor. He stuck out his hands to break his fall closing his eyes instinctively. When he reopened them a few seconds later he found himself midway up the kitchenette wall whizzing past a dusty picture of him and his mum at Pontins some years previous. Before he could rationalise what was happening, his naked body was careening across the ceiling seemingly freed of both friction and gravity. His ears were filled with the most dreadful screech, not from his own lips however (for the gravity of the situation had not yet kicked in) but from the folds of his sweaty, buttered, juddering mass which recoiled and snapped and propelled in a most terrible and indescribable motion.
It was impossible for Barry to navigate in his condition; he was at the mercy of his body which now no longer obeyed any natural law. Barry had pushed it too far. He tried to lodge himself in the sink as he passed on one rotation of the kitchen and even managed to snag himself on the door handle on another but at each juncture his sopping body would interject and free him from any solace that he aimed for. Strange to relate then that at some point at the end of that first day, at some unknown moment in Barrys infernal kitchen spin cycle, he managed to fall asleep.
The next thing he became aware of was a large mollusk camped out on the bridge of his nose as the sun danced in a circular motion directly behind, searing and blinding with each revolution. He tried to lash out at his new found friend but found his limbs no longer carried any weight. In fact, had Barry been able to look at himself from above at this point he would see not a man, but a fleshy corpustule, smooth and plump yet bilious, covered in butter, breadcrumbs, twigs, crockery and slugs. From afar he probably resembled a deep fried bollock, spinning in his garden, baking slowly in the noon day sun.
As alarm and panic grasped him once again he cried out but no one came to his aid. He found that as he yelled he began to propel faster and faster and eventually he found himself spinning as if in a centrifuge around the fence of his neglected garden. Suddenly he slammed hard against the garden gate. It gave way from its corroded hinges and sent Barry into the cobbled alleyway to the rear of the house. He found he felt no pain as rusty nails and barbed wire atop fences couldn’t pierce his batter. His friend the snail had unfortunately long since passed having been flung off into the ether.
He bounced into the street. Across a car. Up a lamppost and down again. People began to take notice at this point, calling out, taking photos, jumping out of the way of the gargantuan butter bag. He flew through a Tesco Metro leaving a trail of wet creamy slime in his wake. As he passed through the butter aisle he picked up even more speed as if his body was absorbing the now hated substance via osmosis. He was beginning to blur around the edges as he sped through the streets.
Reaching town, he flushed down escalators and coated young mums with prams. He made polite gentlemen throw up in the street and helicopters began to follow him through their special lenses. He thrudupped thrupped thrupped through an entire Topshop and upset a dog.
The police tried to set up barricades and predict where Barry would slither off to next but it was completely futile. The more they chided him through their megaphones the more huffy Barry got and thus the faster and more corpulent he became. As a last ditch effort for rehabilitation they even put Barrys doctor in a helicopter which flew next to him shouting advice as he went “Have you been having your Five-A-Day” he squawked impotently. At this point the police just decided to shoot Barry. They reasoned with themselves; they'd given it their best shot, right?
Scuppering their plans as the snipers took aim, Barrys body took a hard left toward the train station, onlookers diving one way and the other, all instantly regretting how mawkish they had previously been as parked cars and dustbins came flying toward their face. Once on the train tracks, Barry was funnelled on a one way trip, headed toward Brighton, the coast.
He was so fast now the cameras couldn’t keep up. There are some photographs of Barry hurtling toward Brighton pier. And then off it. And then a huge splash.
Barry is probably the reason why Anglo-French relations are so terrible at the moment. They assumed he was the first wave in a terrific new kind of biological assault. The French president called up our Prime Minister to enquire as to why a seaweed encrusted scampi with the head of a potato was seen assaulting the peak of the Eiffel Tower with a massive Union Jack trailing out of its arse.
It was a moot point however as just as quick as Barry had scaled the formidable icon than he had launched off it at light speed toward the stratosphere, into space, into unimaginable gaseous colours beyond our conception, leaving only a streak of yellow across a cloudless azure sky.