Hero & Heroin
divested himself of the soft silk sheets of his bedtime, exchanging them for the cold stark stare of
morning, greeted as he was with the birth of a new winter’s day. His nostrils twitched at the ascending
bouquet of fried bread, eggs, and bacon seeping up from the flat below into his’ room. How king of
his neighbour to greet him with the wonderful aroma of such a early morning repast.
Weakly the ripples of harlequin light tried to force its way into the flat through the cold glass
of the window. The silver ray of morning had chased the exodus of night to the very gateway of the
dawn, where the proverbial elusive butterfly brushed passed him on the way to the bathroom. Mark
awoke to the semi-arctic greeting of that early morning sunshine infiltrating through the frost patterns
on the glass, which now resembled a stained-glass window in the churches of yesteryear. Despite the
cold Mark found the sight comforting and friendly.
A dark unshaven face stared blankly through the mirror, which hung helplessly on the wall,
it frowned at Mark, and he frowned back. After a minute’s visual discussion between the two faces,
they met, and Mark proceeded to dress in his modestly conventional attire, after all, it was Monday
and he did have to go to work. The shivering skeleton, for Mark was not a well-built lad, stood
scraping his flesh with a well-used Gillette razor over a sparkling sink, which reflected his frustration.
By seven o’ clock, Mark was ready to devour his insufficient breakfast, insufficient merely
because he never got up early enough to cook anything, and anyway he had already sampled the
delights of a full English breakfast through his nostrils courtesy of his neighbour. The ice-cold milk
bottle stuck to his hand as he carried it from the refrigerator, and the corn flakes seemed to freeze as
the white stream flowed around them. Mark got himself ready, wandering about from room to room,
sitting down only briefly to gulp coffee and crunch large spoonfuls of Corn Flakes. Just as he was
about to begin chiselling the dregs from the bottom of his dish, the ever-friendly voice of the BBC
Announcer issued forth from the mouth of the transistor radio:
“The time is seven-fifteen…Attention all shipping here is a gale warning issued at…..
and within seconds the figure that once sat silently eating cereal and drinking black coffee was gone
into the coldness of the hallway. Mark clambered down the forty-nine steps (with apologies to John
Buchan) of Spencer House; a journey, which would not normally be necessary, but City Councils
being as they are, the lift, was yet to be repaired following several bouts of particularly vicious