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Gul Y. Davis
Gul Y. Davis

Gul Y Davis' novella A Lone Walk received the J.B. Priestly Award for Young Writers, 2001. His writing has appeared in various magazines and anthologies. He has won awards from the Royal Literary Fund, The Financial Times and the Koestler Awards Trust. In 2006 BBC Radio 4 broadcast The Psychology of Dangerous Roads (adapted by the BBC from Gul Davis' short story by the same name). He is currently completing a new novel.
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   20.08.14 |‹ 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9  (9)    
Beneath the Fire   (Page 7 of 9)


          I hold my hand out. he watches it jerkin and shakin, slowly his head tiltin to one side

          “my mouth¸ – wet from my eyes hot an curlin behind my ears – “my mouth’s full of spit. all time. it’s disgustin¸

          liftin his glasses onto his forehead. rubs his temples. pushes over the box of tissues

          wipe my eyes as he scribbles on his paper

          “and why do you think you’re on dipixol?¸

          “told you, think I’m schizoid, don’t they? I tell em I never had heard voices. no difference needle every week in my bottom –¸

          “– I understand that you don’t hear voices and¸ – his eyes go all bright an he smiles – “that you’re fully aware bin laden’s got far too many bomb factories to keep going than to bother with you –¸

          can feel my cheeks, look down at desk smilin

          “– but I was led to understand, that you felt – that evil spirits had entered you around the time of the – do you feel you might be on the dipixol to help you with –?¸

          “no!¸ – pressin my hands against table “– never said that, never said that¸ – my face all hot “– that wasn’t it, that – that doctor, wouldn’t listen, she kept tryin at me, that, that wasn’t it, that – with what I had – and the burns an prison I couldn’t get my words but, it wasn’t – said to her – said to her it’s not like, that wasn’t, but she kept pouncin that wasn’t it, it wasn’t –¸

          pushes the box of tissues closer. the chair all diggin and squeezin me, my back an all and the doctor all bug-eyed starin like I’m lyin, like I’m cheatin

          “– that wasn’t it, it wasn’t like she said, doctor, weren’t no spirit possessin, I don’t know why I – I don’t know why –¸ crossin, uncrossin my arms, salt wettin my mouth bitter like everythin inside me

          “help me understand –¸

          “– no. you don’t understand – you don’t under–¸ pushin back the chair “– don’t know why I – don’t know why – I wasn’t anywhere, my spirit like it left me like I was cold and far, watchin me gettin them all cleaned like I said to her –¸

          “getting them all clean?¸

          shelly’s little lips and her little nose so soft under the hard pressin down of my palm. bliss of her peaceful silence. I open my eyes. still for the first time in weeks an weeks so I can wipe her, clean her bum with wet wipes like she needs, and make her comfortable and hug lucy, standin quiet now too, and test the water with my elbow, weave my fingers through the smoothness of shelly’s hair an soft scalp, latherin it up citrus and springtime ticklin at my nose from the shampoo and tiltin her sweet head back, rinsin the soap away, wispy like cotton her hair when it’s dry, clean and baby smellin she is, and changin her properly, an puttin her in the nice little baby-pink suit with yellow flowers, and for first time since she came out of me she looks content an clean

          hummin in my ears. the dark with my eyes closed

          can feel my skin

          slip my hand under my top. spread my fingers round my belly, lumpy, tight, tissue-crisp skin. scratch in with my rough, picked-sharp nails. pinch and dig my fingers in, let pain slow my breathin

          “are you ok?¸

          nudgin me the box of tissues. can’t look

          “please help me understand. you felt like you were watching yourself?¸

          her top alight, white flame, lucy screamin

          “I’m sorry to push you – you felt you were watching yourself getting your children all cleaned up, had you already decided to do what you did?¸

   20.08.14 |‹ 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9  (9)    
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