Fragments of Dark: When the Tears are Gone Forever

Tears are gone

My guardian angel has gone to the store to get more vodka: medicine for our brains, he says. That’s perfectly standard practice, only he’s been gone for some time now, and I’m starting to think he’s left me to fall apart in this god forsaken flat.  

I stare at the electric blue teacups lined up on the dresser, every one of them full of storm. I sense the waves pouring over their rims, and for a moment it is as though someone were playing them like singing bowls; circling a mallet slowly around and around. It is almost joyous, almost full of hope, but then it begins to scrape and screech, and before I know it the whole room is shaking with the deathly racket and I have to take cover under the coffee table. 

That’s when, of course, the walls start oozing their 








I can feel the dark substance already: clinging to my skin, desperate to get through my pores and into my blood stream. There’s no coming back if it gets that far, I can tell you that right now. 

I don’t know if lying here in foetal position helps, I suppose it’s more of an automatic reaction to detecting imminent danger. However it does serve to remind me that this particular mass of pain, lumped together beneath the table, is what I am directly in charge of. It reminds me that I am, in physicality if not in principle, separate from the poison out there that would infect me further; from the room that would swallow me whole…

I’m cold now. Cold and clammy and shivering. At least the teacups have shut up though, hey? There are no tears either in case you were wondering; we’re way past that, me and my angel both. Unfortunately what comes when the tears are gone forever is a sort of black hole inside, as though the salt from the flood had burned 








Leaving a window to infinity, ready to implode the remainder of our being at any minute… 

So the struggle we’re left with is really this: what will we allow to consume us, the predatory world out there in the flat and beyond, or the horrifying black hole inside? I don’t know if there’s a difference, but I’m sure as hell hanging back from making that decision, at least until I’ve given the medicine one last shot. But the












Fragments of Dark: George


Heal my wounds?

Night after night I awake in that place; drenched in sweat, feeling a hundred years old. The walls around me are brown and peeling, etched with words that won’t stay, covered in blood that is rotting yet alive. The stench fills my eyes with tears, and the tears melt my leathery skin on contact. There are echoes around me of incomprehensible words spoken, sharp and hasty. They resonate in my skull, around and around.  I am bound, yet there are no ropes and there are no chains…

Sometimes a rusty iron ring emerges from a wall as though it were soft, and I reach out for it. But I slip on the pool of blood beneath my feet and

I cannot regain myself and

I slide around, unable to grip and unable to stand or even to pull myself to my knees amongst the maggots. Yes, there are maggots now, ok? Continue reading “Fragments of Dark: George”

Fragments of Dark: Julian



Call me dramatic, but there is a black, spherical void at my core. at least, I imagine it is black. The type of black that is so black, it misses the point of being black at all. And everything else that I am, all my solid matter, my emotion, my human soul, is constantly on the edge of falling in. My heart is particularly close, and the void darkens its vibrations, tainting it so that sometimes I think it has already fallen in and is now pumping the void around my body. My soul is dark too, from the void in me. It feels tortured that it should go on in this conscious host instead of being at one with the infinite void. My mind, I think, is not wholly convinced that the void is where the heart and soul should belong, but then my mind is tainted with human arrogance as well as eternal darkness.

Continue reading “Fragments of Dark: Julian”

Fragments of Dark: Jesse


Depression is not a dramatisation of how you feel when you lose your wallet. Depression is falling off the merry go round; and broken, bruised and dizzy looking back up at it wondering why you were on it in the first place. Despression is not immediately jumping back on, because from down here you can see the rickety mechanisms and the shady characters that operate it. From down here you can see that the shiny paintings and smiling faces are easily peeled away to show the cold grey metal underneath. The mirrors are not true reflections. From down here you can see the open space, the trees and the sky. All these things move much slower, and the more the dizziness wears off, the more beautiful and attractive they become. The faces and the hands reach out and try to pull you up onto your feet, but instead you slowly back away from the fairground and melt into nature…


Fragments of Dark is a hand bound, illustrated zine compiling short bursts of creative writing about depression and madness.

Fragments of Dark: Jack


The sound of the commuters starts at 6am, as surely as the sun will rise each day, but with more precision. The start of daylight and the commuters never quite coincides, you see. Sometimes the light will come first, sometimes after, but always the commuters at 6am.

The sound of acceleration, brakes, exhausts, horns, people calling to one another in aggressive tones. They’re always in a hurry, the commuters. Always in an integral daydream of purpose that cannot be broken.

I lie awake listening to them, watching the grey walls of my room. Well, they’re not so much grey as watered down versions of the colours the commuters see. When I was little I was given books containing thick black outlines of characters and scenes, which I was to cover in the water from a paintbrush to reveals light colourations. They were barely colours at all, but there was something satisfying about revealing them anyway.

My morning view is predictable. The wardrobe doors are still there, as are the radiator, the curtains, my lamp, and the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. What is different is the shapes I see in the pleats of the curtains, the fall of the duvet and the lay of the laundry. I note these differences long after the sound of the commuters dies down into a steady buzz, and I imagine them settled into their respective roles as citizens.

Officially, I have a job like them. Sometimes I imagine myself sitting back at my desk in a brightly lit room, surrounded by chatter and nonsense and things to  think about other than the shadow cast by yesterday’s teacup. But in my room I am separate from all of that. I am safe and I am in my own head; not the heads of the commuters.

Mid-morning, when my back or hip or head starts to twinge, I sometimes venture into the hallway to glance at what post has arrived. Then I float into the kitchen to make a drink and pick up painkillers. Other times I will take painkillers from my bedside drawer without assistive liquid.

If it is a kitchen day, I will pass a collection of unfinished paintings I once created and be briefly upturned by the change in me that now inhibits such pursuits. I don’t like the paintings much anyway. It would be no bad thing if they were to be destroyed to take my small stamp upon the world away…


Fragments of Dark is a hand bound, illustrated zine compiling short bursts of creative writing about depression and madness.

Fragments of Dark: Al


And the judge said:

“Reams and reams, book after book you have written. Haha! Everyone thinks they can write, everyone thinks they are good at it. Everyone thinks, everyone. Including you. You are not special, you are included in that ‘everyone’. You must follow the same rules, the same life path, the same script. Everyone thinks they are different, but they’re not. Now sit down.”

Who is the judge in any case? You, of course! Just like every other part in this damned play. You are just a pack of cards! Everyone is just a pack of cards. But how do you want to play? Do you really want to play your judge that way? Why not make your judge more attractive, more unique? Go on, give him a fancy costume, let him express himself! Have a flamboyant judge, a goth judge, a female judge, a baby judge, a fish judge, a water judge…


Fragments of Dark is a hand bound, illustrated zine compiling short bursts of creative writing about depression and madness.