________Lost Souls_______
The Slow of the Eye

David Barton

Not quite. No, not quite. If I really try I can, but then I lose it. Something standing to the side of me, glimpsed only briefly from the corner of my eye. A fleeting glimpse of something that is too quick for the eye.

It likes to play tricks on me. It hides my shoes, when I'm going out on a hot date; it knows which are my best, which I like to wear when I'm meeting a bird.

The fucking thing is driving me mad, but who can I tell? No one would believe.

I once thought I saw it curled up on the top of my wardrobe, again just a fleeting glimpse from the corner of my eye. When I looked in its direction however, it vanished.

It was squatting there, and I thought I saw it playing with itself, or making a wanking gesture if not actually performing the act itself.

The fucker's calling me a wanker!

It plays with the dials and controls of all the electrical equipment in the flat, drives me fucking crazy it does, messing with the thermostat, the television, the cooker - once it turned all the gas on, thank God it didn't strike a match. I don't keep matches in the flat since then, otherwise it would burn the place down.

It's like a fucking gremlin! Yes, thats the best way to describe the bastard, like a fucking gremlin! You've seen the film haven't you? Well the little shit is like those fuckers; only I never saw it properly to give you an accurate description. In fact I don't think it has a description. It's just an indescribable thing; just something that's there, something malign. It's too quick for the human eye, as I've said. If only I could see it properly or even catch it in a net or something, then I'd have proof that it exists. But I can't. The fucker knows this; it knows I haven't a cat in hell's chance of ever proving its existence.

One night I'm cooking for my bird, who's sat in the front room listening to a CD I put on especially. She likes Phil Collins, so I put him on. I hate the balding cunt myself; just pretend I like him so I'm in with a chance like. I haven't slept with her yet, but I'm hoping tonight's the night if I play my cards right, so-to-speak!

Then I saw it, in the corner of the kitchen, but I turn towards it and as usual it's gone. I thought I saw it scamper into the front room, so I listen - nothing but Phil Collins coming in the air tonight!

'What the fuck's that!' I hear Maria (that's my bird) calling out from the front. I leave off cooking the dinner and dash into the other room. Maria's standing there, staring into the corner of the room in the direction of the armchair.

'Behind the chair!' she yells over to me, a look of fear on her face.

'What is it?'

'I think it's a rat.'

'A rat?' I knew full well what it really was she'd seen. She's seen that fucking thing; she's seen it from the corner of her eye, seen something scuttling across the carpet, and thought it was a rat.

'I don't want to stay around here if you've got rats!' she tells me.

'I'll deal with it Maria. Go into the bedroom,' I said, pointing in the direction of the bedroom door.

She looked at me as if to say: 'Oh aye - the bedroom, what's your game?'

'Just while I get rid of it,' I explained.

'Okay,' she says, and hurries into the bedroom, swiftly closing the door behind her.

I steel myself and take in a deep breath, then pull back the armchair. Nothing. There was nothing there! I pushed the chair back into place, next I hear Maria screaming in the bedroom.

I rush towards the door and open it. Something disappeared as I opened the door, as soon as I clapped eyes on it. It was as if as soon as my eyes met with it, it vanished from sight.

'Something was in here with me,' Maria said.

She was sat on the edge of the bed; the same look of fear on her face as before. Her eyes flicked nervously around the room.

I looked around, but of course the cunt was nowhere to be seen.

'It's not rats is it?' she said, sensing that I knew more than I was letting on.

'I've told you, I don't have rats.'

'What the hell is it then?'

'I don't know,' I said, because I didn't. A pain in the arse, I almost said, because the bastard was that all right.

She gets up now and says: 'Well whatever it is, I'm not staying here another moment longer.'

'Where are you going? I'm cooking dinner,' I told her, anxious that she was leaving.

'I'm not staying for dinner with that fucking thing lurking around.'

'It's gone now,' I treid to reason.

'I'm not hanging around to find out if it's going to make a return visit,' she then says. 'You only got me round here in the first place to sleep with me, anyway.'

'No, I've got the dinner on,' I pleaded, 'I think youve got a great personality.'

She looked at me. I was a useless liar; she knew men, and knew me.

So that was that, she left and I didn't get a shag. All because of it!

It's laughing at me, I've heard it sniggering.

The fucking thing thinks it's funny that it's disrupting my love life; making sure I never get a shag.

Next time I meet a bird I fancy and things start getting round to the shagging stage, I'm going to make sure we go back to hers. She'll cook me dinner. Then afterwards I'll spend the night there, I'll shaft her until the early hours, get my end away good and proper, and there'll be no bastard gremlin thing getting in the way. Unless of course it's got a distant relative. I dread to think that there's loads of them bastards around, loads of the fuckers that the human eye isn't quick enough to pick up - I dread to think, I really do.

David Barton is your editor, check out the website, Angels and Devils, for more information. 
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