Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Campening

One of the very few positives about growing up in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mile upon mile of forests, mountains and fields is the chance to explore your inner frontiersman in the surrounding country. As children growing up in deepest, darkest South Wales, I spent half my life up the mountains as a kid. Sometimes we would build dens, other times we would even light needless mountain fires, but my most favourite activity of all as a child was camping.

The chance to be away from your parents for a night while you explore the great outdoors and play with fire was something we lived for every summer. It was a rite of passage for every local lad. You could not say you truly a man until you had learned how to chop down a tree with a chisel and start a fire with nothing more than a magnifying glass and a coke bottle of petrol.

"Now, I am become death, the destroyer of worlds!"
However as you get older, your priorities start to change. At around 16 years old we stopped venturing into the mountains and decided to focus instead on more useful adult activities like video games and this new-fangled thing called t’internet.

Fairly content with how things were going I assume that until recently my camping days were long behind me, but last year that all changed. I was going to make a decision that would affect the lives of my two best friends and me forever.

I still can’t tell you why or how it came up? Maybe it was misplaced nostalgia, maybe it was a good idea that just turned out bad, or maybe it was to prove the ultimate test of friendship ever endured by three lifelong friends. We had all arranged to meet up one Thursday to just hang out as we had all been experiencing less than fantastic luck in our personal lives recently and the thought spending some quality time in the company of old friends could only be a good thing.

Midway through a conversation about movies and football, I got a brainwave! Looking back it may very well have been a brain aneurysm; but I’ll leave that for future generations to decide.

“Hey guys! I have an idea...."

The weather forecast was excellent, none of us had anything on and it would be a perfect opportunity to have a laugh and do something different.

With little convincing from your truly, my friends quickly agreed. We arranged to borrow a new tent from a neighbour, quickly made a list of necessary supplies and set up a concise, clean and fool proof plan for “Campfest 2011” (copyright pending).

Ryan left us in order to travel to his house to dig around his attic in order to find his rucksack that had not seen light of day or nearly 15 years, while me and Gavin drove over to his house to collect  his camping equipment and pick up supplies at the Supermarket. There was but one problem we had to sort out before we could continue on our camping trip, and that was the problem of Gavin’s dog. As he could not leave it alone for the night, he had arranged to drop the dog off at a family member’s house before we headed off on our trip. All we had to do was transport the dog the 6 miles in Gavin’s car before we could be free of all responsibility and the fun could really begin.

However this was to prove easier said than done.

One of the problems with Penny was that she was a bit retarded. 

You could shout random instruction in anything from English to Elvish and the dog would respond in the same way every time. A random cock of the head as her eyes scanned the scenario playing out in front of her before she just gave up and carried on doing whatever she wanted.

This was not usually a problem, but when she decided to take the biggest crap in the history of dog-kind in the back seat of Gavin’s car, it quickly changed from “not usually a problem”, into “Oh my god, the dog is going to die”.

We were about half way through our trip to drop the drop off when some movement from the back seat caught Gavin’s attention. 

Gavin, being wise to the ways of his dog knew exactly what was about to happy. As soon as he saw her starting to arc her back and look to the heavens in anticipation, he knew what was coming. He knew…


The dog stopped briefly as the small brown sausage started it initial crowning.

She continued.

Gavin was helpless. He could not stop the car as he was on a quick, mostly blind road with no hard shoulder in which to pull into. All he could do was scream and watch as Penny gave birth to her little brown monster.


She paused again, looked around….. And continued her still born monstrosity. 

At this point Gavin was beyond angry. His knuckles with white as he gripped the steering wheel, his cries of hate and fury mixed with my own deranged laughter as I broke down upon taking in the sight before me. Suddenly all screaming and laughing ended as the full impact of Penny’s chocolate puppy hit us. Weapons grade toxic fumes filled the car as Penny now happily sat next to her foot long steaming coiled python. The rest of the trip was conducted in total silence as we attempted to drive home with our heads out of the window. 

Car cleaned and Penny suitably punished we gathered up our gear and headed off to meet up with Ryan, who had somehow managed to find his Army Ranger rucksack amongst 30 years of old toys, Christmas decorations and random boxes. He sat at the bottom of the mountain path waiting patiently for us; all decked out in army camouflage, he looked more like a man getting ready to go to war than a man about to spend a few hours in his local forest with two old friends. Little did we realise at the time just how right he would be.

All three men stood briefly at the bottom of the mountain. We exchanged a knowing glance as we began our quest into the wilderness. 

The last time any of us would know innocence.
Atop the mountain we stood and surveyed the town before us. We had passed the first test of manhood as we left the comfort and safety of our homes and pressed on through the dense forest, our path unknown, only guided by the blood of a thousand explorers before us.

As the camping trip was largely my idea, I somehow became the de-facto leader of this little group. I accepted the burden of leader, knowing that without my expert wilderness knowledge and cool, calm approach to man management and discipline, this trip would be short lived and filled with anger. With this new mind set I led my men deep into the forest. We walked along paths that had probably not seen a human foot for decades. I convinced my friends that a set path or goal was not necessary and that we should just keep walking, see where the forest took us and not even think about a camping spot until it “felt right”. I rallied my troops with the epic mantra of..

The first time they tried to murder me was about 60 minutes into our hike.

We had already walked for many miles with very heavy backpacks weighing us down and there was still no end in sight. Every potential camping spot we came to was either water logged or too bumpy to sleep on. Gavin and Ryan were both starting to get extremely restless and my continued chatter of how “I feel just like Kerouac!!” was not winning me many friends.

We finally came to a clearing in the woods that was a perfect camping spot. It had flat ground, plenty of trees for a fire and good cover. However, there was just one problem. There was already a tent there.

Or to be more accurate, there was already an abandoned tent in the middle of a CSI type murder crime scene there. To find a brand new tent in the middle of a forest with no sign of its occupants can give one a slightly uneasy feeling. We all decided that one of us should go down and investigate. As we operated as a loose camp-ocracy, I decided we should put it to a vote. In short, I lost. My suspect leadership ability and lack of navigational skills had cost me dear in the polls and I was subsequently elected to go down and do battle with Jason Vorhees alone.

I dumped my backpack with my fellow campers and slowly headed down to the scene of the crime. I reached to my belt hoping to feel some reassurance, but felt nothing except for the realisation that I had left my camping knife on the table and that in my effort to put it somewhere memorable, I had actually completely forgotten about it. I had bought from Ebay before the sale of large knifes became illegal, but it was 8 inches of sharp steel fury that I wished I had by my side right now as I headed into a horror movie cliché so obvious I half expected to turn round to see Wes Craven filming me with a camera.

Actual Picture of said tent!
I arrived at the tent. The front doors were open, revealing a completely empty interior. Coke bottles and plastic wrappers littered the ground around the tent. I searched for any sign of foul play or sign that the occupants had just left the tent, but instead found nothing. Deciding that this shit was way too creepy even for me, I decided to just let things be and head back towards my friends. As I headed back I fully expected a giant maniac to jump out from behind a tree at some point and bury an axe into my skull. 

ch ch ch ah ah ah.....
I picked up my backpack and we soon set back off on the road. We continued our hike for the next mile or so in almost total silence, all silently agreeing that we should not camp anywhere near this spot, least we end up nothing more than another abandoned tent in the woods. We walked onwards for another 20 minutes and tried to put the massacre of our fellow campers out of our heads. We had all heard stories as kids growing up about the kind of things that went on in the forest at night. Tales of Satan Worshipers, illegal bare knuckle fighting groups, escaped mental patients living in the wild, wolf sightings and even evil spirits are all very real and credible stories I have heard at one time or another about this place.

I once had one of the most intense and terrifying experiences of my life on the outskirts of this forest. I was driving home from work one night at around 11pm and my car overheated, forcing me to quickly pull into a forest layby in order to allow it to cool down. What I saw run in front of my car headlights and disappear into the forest as I pulled in will always be a vivid, terrifying memory… But that’s a story for another time.

After yet more walking we realised that the sun was starting to begin its slow decent and if we didn’t find a camping spot soon, we wouldn’t have the light we needed in order to properly setup camp. In order to save time and man power, we disbanded into three individual groups and each headed off on a separate path. I dug around the underbrush, desperately looking for somewhere decent in order to set up our tent. After 10 minutes or so we all reconvened and gave a passionate pitch about the potential benefits of the camping spots we had found. My camping spot, despite providing ample wood for the fire and cover was deemed “too uneven”. However Ryan assured us that his camping spot was perfect and that once we saw it we would never want to camp anywhere else ever again.

We followed him to his camping spot and realised that he was in fact now under the direct control of the Blair Witch. A more evil, dark and foreboding place I had never seen! 

"Let us stay here. Forever!!!!!"
Despite the sun still being quite high and strong, the place he had taken us was as dark as any winter’s night and harboured evil that would have taken our souls had we stayed there a moment longer. 

We quickly ushered Ryan away from the control of that evil place and settled on setting up camp overlooking the distant towns down in the valley beyond the edge of the forest. It was a truly majestic camping spot and for the first time in the trip we felt we were actually starting to get somewhere and had even briefly stopped sniping at each other long enough to have a few laughs and share a beer or two. To further improve our mood we even found three cut tree stumps that provided excellent seats for us all around the camp fire. The ancient Gods of the forest were now on our side, providing us with everything we needed for an excellent nights camping. 

And flies. Lots and lots of flies.
With the tent pitched and the fire up and running, we were finally starting to get into the swing of this whole camping business. Even the mood of the group had started to level out. I was no longer leading my friends into a dangerous, blood soaked journey without end, Ryan had been freed from his possession and even Gavin had actually stopped complaining like a little bitch about having to set up the tent by himself.

However our good mood did not last as we all settled down to have some supper. After our long hike in the summer heat, we were all ravenous. Myself and Gavin broke open our supplies and started filling our bellies with hot food and soothing drink. However Ryan had for some reason foolishly brought with him a Happy Shopper tin of own brand beans for his dinner. This in itself wasn’t an issue; what was an issue however was that since this was a bargain basement inexpensive tin of beans, it did not come with a ring pull. As both his companions had bought regular tins amongst their food supplies, neither of us had a need for a tin opener and as such did not think of bringing one. This left Ryan with the choice of either admitting defeat and taking some of our food, or hack into that tin like a mentalist with horse hoof de-stoner he found on the back of his fork. 

He wisely chose the latter. For 45 minutes we both watched him desperately hack away millimetre at a time at this lump of solid iron. Slipping on the tomato juice and stabbing himself several times with his hoof tool, Ryan did eventually managed to carve a tiny inch wide hole at the top of tin from which he eagerly suckled nourishment. 

Nom nom nom nom nom nom.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

jet, black

  jet,  black

    ex                                                    (ozymandian
      plosions                                               weapons
almost    inaudible                                       project)
     in  the    sky  so fa
                        aurora is its
        name       they   say : glowing

  belly  like  a  fire-drake it

                   skips  the  round
            of   the    atmosphere, pops
      in    when  you  least
      pect   it  and
             screaming in to the thin air

    releases  death

                     upon   thee: be
          ware, for  our  kings
                             are  mighty .


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

42 Months

When I turned 30, something strange happened. Call it a quarter life crisis, or maybe a crisis of faith, or maybe even the call of the road less travelled. Whatever name it went by, the result was the same. I gave up a steady, safe and easy job that I had been doing for nearly 8 years in order to take some time out and find myself. I know that may sound slightly pretentious and simple in its terms of life goals, but after turning 30 I realised that my youth was pretty much over and I had become a proper grown up man that I honestly didn’t much care for. Everything in my life was safe and predictable. I needed a change; I needed to do something stupid and impulsive.

So I handed in my resignation and happily told everyone I knew that I was doing the whole “drop in, drop out” thing for a while. The world is full of self-important people who have to do something, but in my opinion the art of doing nothing is the most glorious and fulfilling accomplishment a man can ever hope to achieve. There is nothing quite like the glorious sense of contentment and satisfaction you feel after spending a whole day just sitting, reading and listening to music. In this world we are taught to be go, go, go, to feel the Earth’s spin and to make every second count. But some people are so desperate to watch every second tick by that they forget to do anything with them. Always they make plans; 5 year career trajectory, 10 year family planning, 25 year mortgage, 50 year retirement plan. But what of today? What of this precious second we are all living in right now? Have you enjoyed it? Have you used it wisely or have you used it just as a stepping stone towards a future that will bare as much relation to the image in your head as the present does in those hokey 50’s sci-fi movies.

I don’t expect everyone to appreciate the sense of having done something worthwhile without actually having really done or achieved anything, but those 42 months were a gift to myself from the past, present and future. Without them I would not have discovered a whole new side to myself, a side of new challenges and new friends. In these 42 months I have connected with special individuals that I would never have come into contact with otherwise and that in itself was worth more than any promotion or payrise.

I have made firm friendships and connections with people from all over the world, from free flowing married artists in Illinois; to Scottish visionaries who have allowed me to be read all over the world; I have even danced with the voice of the doomed, somehow living to tell the tale of sushi knifes and duct tape. I even fought the good fight for peace and justice against bigoted idiots who are happy to support terrorism as long as it comes with a green tint and friendly accent. All of these people will stay with me in one way or another. They have helped make me a newer and better person. But after three and a half years I am ready to start again with a new outlook and belief thanks to my tranquil storm of creativity and knowledge.

Not many people will ever have the opportunity to do what I have done. The modern way of living just doesn’t allow people to drop out for a couple of years anymore. Just the cost of putting enough gas in your car to do the essentials requires you to have at least a part-time job. In an ideal world I would pass this gift on, somehow able to allow a young artist the time and means to discover a whole new world within himself.

But with every “drop in, drop out”, there must inevitably come a “drop out, drop in”. A time when the harsh realities of life must at long last be addressed. So here I sit, a few years older, a few years wiser, doing pretty much the same job I was doing before. From outward appearances you would struggle to see what exactly I had changed in those 42 months? I wish I could actually show you what I had done, but everything that I have achieved has been of a personal and internal nature. All I can offer is this short story for you to read along with the faint hope that it will make you smile in appreciation.

I see the world with new eyes, eyes that are now open to new possibilities and adventures. For 42 months I slipped the straightjacket of conformity and society and did whatever the hell I wanted.

If you ever get the chance to do the same….. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Capitalist Shuffle

racing down the aisles
shuffling feet in line
it's mine!
the register cranks
the clink of despair
ragged envy
distinctive trades
shuffling lives
markets collapse
banks fail
free at last
from the capitalist shuffle

-Robin Sneed, From These Pages I Do Rise

Thursday, February 23, 2012

getting clean on pharmaceuticals

    i kn ock   back   diamond s

  and wait for them to
            unfect me
   I drop  a few
  and watch  them  roll
  across  the table  : orange  ,white
  yellow  blue
    I  take  back
         my mind
from the sky  for  a few hours
and  bring  it  here ,  jewelled,   to you
it  is  a  dead   bird  , staring ,  car
buncled  and  no  new  ideas
                      curling  and/or trilling
 from   its  wicked  hook
                            of  a  beak  greasy
feathers ,  poached blank eyes
  and  a  smell
           maybe  fleas

   i knock    back   diamonds
and  sink  them  with  a  clear  cool  fool's  brew
                 of  water

©Peter A. Greene 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012


It was the summer of 2009. We were two friends who had grown up together, almost as brothers. My first recollection I have of Gavin was when we got into a fight over a yellow Tonker-Truck in kindergarten at 3 years old. I won that fight, but it was just the first of many. Our constant need for competition and to challenge each other would be a running theme for the next 30 years. Whether it is athletic achievement or academic achievement, our need to pit our wits, ability and even our very lives against each other has never ceased. In the years we have known each other we have literary come to blows, sworn that our friendship was at an end and issued fatwahs over such trivial subjects as video games, drinking sessions, women and pretty much every sporting event that can be played by able bodied Welsh men. During this time I have suffered alcohol poisoning, almost drowned on my own vomit and nearly broke my back in an attempt to keep up with my much physically larger friend on our wild day trips. But his challenges to me have not gone without incident either. He has fallen through a ceiling, lost jobs due to Muppet porn I sent him via email and has even suffered compound fractures resulting in my highly cynical and brutal football challenge; where after being barged off the ball by his sharp, savage elbows, I proceeded to chase after him and sweep his legs from behind, sending him crumpling onto the hard concrete where he would stay until the ambulance arrived.

People have often remarked that if they didn’t know we were friends, they could easily mistake us for mortal enemies. But then they just don’t get it. We don’t compete and try to beat each other due to a deep sated hatred; we do it because it’s just really, really funny making the other person look like a loser while you look like a rock star. I have no interest in destroying the man, any more than he truly wishes to destroy me; we both just really want the upper hand and the ensuring bragging rights. Sometimes it does get out of hand of course, but for the most part it is just a really intense rivalry that will probably continue for as long as we are friends. Truth be told, it is probably the main reason why we have been friends for so long. Most friends are just random people you hang out with and talk to now and again, but Gavin…. Well, he’s the one person I can hang out with, talk to now and again, but also, and I cannot stress this point enough, also try to destroy. It keeps us on our toes, keeps us sharp and ready for the next round.

When Gavin announced that he was making his way to the alter before me, I felt a slight twinge of envy as he had beaten me in this one particular competition. But despite my loss I went through the motions of congratulations and platitudes. I would achieve something of a counter victory though as he, as is tradition with such events chose me to be best man at his wedding. My joy with this news was tempered somewhat by the knowledge that he had originally wanted me to be “co-best man” along with a friend from Scotland. Sadly his so called “friend” couldn’t make it down to Wales for the nuptials, so all the responsibilities and traditions of best man fell solely on my shoulders.

You don't have enough hair to be a best man. Prick.
Deciding that my victory of becoming sole best man was too much to bare without some sort of retaliation, Gavin decided that if I were going to be sole best man, then I would pay for it dearly. His first master stroke was telling me that I would have to cross-dress for the special occasion. Well played Sir…. Despite being about as Scottish as a vegetarian diet and sensible alcohol consumption, Gavin decided that he would have a Highland themed wedding and I (as best man) would have to match his kilted attire. “Fine” I thought. I have great legs, I can pull this off. But then the son of a bitch executed his coupe-de-grace. Generously offering to buy me the correct kilt pattern for his wedding, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised and humbled that he had loosened his purse strings long enough to consider my needs. My feelings of good will did not last for long. Though he still maintains his innocence to this day, for some reason he bought me a kilt that I would have struggle to fit in when I was a lithe, slim 16 year old with a 28inch waist, let alone a somewhat out of shape 32 year old I had slowly morphed into.

“I honestly thought that was your waist size.” He lied.

No matter. I would not let him win this one. Over the next 2 months I cultivated a serious case of anorexia, managing to shed an impressive 25lbs. It was hard work and honestly, there are periods of several days where all I can remember is a hazy darkness and semi lucid visions of a pizza chasing me down a street. But I fitted in that damn skirt and looked bloody fabulous.

But before the wedding. Before the vows were said. Before I offered to take him to the airport in order to fly to Brazil, I would have one final chance for revenge. Deciding that this would be one of my last opportunities before he became a married man (and as such pretty much dead to the outside world), I would arrange a stag party that would be give this eating disorder causing git the send-off he truly deserved.

When you are the age we are, you grow up watching shows and movies such as The A-Team, Terminator and Robocop. These purveyors of ultra-violence lead to our almost primal fascination of guns and shooting things. Sadly as shooting at each other with real guns is somewhat frowned upon and now limited to the few human hunting reserves of Africa, I decided that we should participate in the next best thing.

Deciding to keep the stag-do small, the party consisted of just myself, Gavin and our mutual friend Ryan. 

The last photo taken of 3 old frinds before the horrors of war changed us forever.
I had made but one critical error in my otherwise stellar preparations for the trip as I had fallen into the trap of “Stag Party 101” and made up special hats for everyone with their names on. This in itself was fine, but the point I didn’t really pick up on was that it might not have been the best idea to order bright red baseball caps when trying to conceal oneself in green foliage. To say these special hats made us stick out somewhat was something of an understatement.

Having to decide between wearing the hats and making ourselves more visible, or having no protection on our heads and taking direct hits to the scalp, we decided to wear them and hope that the limited protection they offered would be worth the added visibility. This was a mistake of such epic proportions; it could very well qualify for its own blog entry.

We began the games in good spirits. We played on the same team, the brotherhood of war and combat strengthening our bond. Things started well and our cunning, experience and ruthlessness make short work of the enemy. But it was to be something of a false dawn. We had taken early victories and sustained no injuries or hits. This was to be our undoing. Thinking ourselves above our enemy, we got cocky.

As the games progressed, so did their difficulty. Our enemy were positioned waiting in their heavily fortified base as we stealthily and carefully advanced on their command position with the intention of capturing their stronghold. Everything went fine for the first few minutes, then we realised that there might be a problem.

All of the previous games had been out in the open. Being seen wasn’t really an issue if you had cover, but this new game was different. The fortified base was surrounded by thick ferns and bushes, with our objective being to advance through the foliage and take them by surprise. However there was just one small issue.

The sight of bright red hats bobbing through the undergrowth must have come as a pleasant surprise to our enemy, but one which they gratefully accepted and then proceeded to shoot the living shit out of. 

There is a reason “Paintball” has the word “Pain” in it. Using our hats as target practice, the enemy proceeded to crack our skulls open with unnerving and worrying accuracy. 200mph balls of luminous death cracked into my skull as I ducked for cover and tried not to worry if the red stuff dripping down my face was blood or paint. 

I fell to the floor behind cover and howled in pain, fuelled by anguish and torment. Ryan was already lost. A casualty of war forever to be remembered and celebrated on this day every year hence. 

He laid there, motionless and slug like. It was his only defence
Myself and Gavin quickly ducked down as our cover received a pebble dashing of death.

We were outnumbered, outgunned and now low on ammo. Figuring out that they could sell 5 times more paintballs if they only counted torso hits as “kill shots”, taking repeated hits to the brain counted for nothing at this particular paintballing complex. Though when I say they counted for nothing, I of course mean that in the sense of the rules of the game and not the worrying buzzing sound coming from my now one working ear. The pain felt white hot and pierced my skull, penetrating every nerve and synapse in my brain. But for all intents and purposes I was still in the game, as was Gavin. 

I should have probably raised a white flag at this point
There was only one thing left to do. I looked at my brother in arms and told him that if we were going to go out, we were going to go out like men! I devised a plan that would recall the finest of last ditch, heroic assaults. Executing the Young Guns 2: Blaze of Glory tactic, we would go all out in, well a blaze of glory. One final push, one final insane attack.

He would take the right flank, I would take the left. We shook hands and said our farewells as we prepared for one final stand agains the forces of evil (blue team). 

And save me a throne in Valhalla!
The words of the Bon Jovi classic reverberated in my shattered and broken skull. We leapt from our cover and charged the enemy. 


What the fu.....
The spirit and memory of a thousand action movies overtook me as I flew towards them using, what felt like at the time, my own personal Matrix bullet time effect. My first shot was one in a million. I somehow managed to explode off the affixed paintball container from the first sentry’s gun, sending his paintballs falling to the floor.

A total look of shock and amazement was etched on his face as he viewed this approaching assassin of death flying towards him. This original look of shock however was nothing compared with the one that replaced it when my next bullet slammed into his forehead, spraying out paint, blood and brain chunks and sending him flying backwards and out of the game. 


I continued my amazing advance and took out another two enemy soldiers. 

I could not believe my luck and skill as I headed towards the enemy stronghold in order to begin the final attack with Gavin and execute our pincer manoeuvre, allowing us to take this base and kill those bastards.

I charged deep into enemy territory, fearless and without mercy. My recklessness and valour may have been out of place given my location, odds and bleeding ears, but I knew that with my best friend by my side we would have a damn good chance of coming out of this alive.

Yes, my best friend.

My best friend at my side.

At my side…..

It had suddenly dawned on me that since leaving the cover we had both been using, Gavin had vanished. I looked back and saw his head peak up over a wooden slat as he gave me a little wave.

I was undone! My friend and fellow soldier had left me to die behind enemy lines. The unmistakable whack of paintball bullets began to slam into my spine and neck. More enemy fire found contact with my soft, damaged flesh as I was riddled with water soluble death. It was all over for me in this game. I fell to the ground and did my best Platoon death scene as I embraced my contemptible fate. 

Willem Dafoeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
But there was yet another game to go, one final conflict to fight. This time it would be different. I swore as I fell to the ground in the last game, as I watched Gavin, safely hidden behind his fortress of shame as he laughed at my demise, that I would have my revenge on those who had left me to die.

The final game of the day was to be a little different to the others. It would start out normally enough, team verses team, but after 5 minutes it would descend into an all-out death match where it was every man for himself.

They say war changes a man. Once you have participated in and committed acts of such savagery and hate, you are never able to unsee what has been seen. It stays with you. 

The horror. The horror.....
Every time you close your eyes, every time you go to the hardware store and see pots of paints, the flashback hit you. From that day on an innocent tin of emulsion was like a naked, murdered Vietnamese body to me. My experience in the last match had given me a worrying thousand yard stare (that could have either been severe emotional trauma or a worrying eye condition that had been brought on by repeated blunt trauma) and a lust for blood that could only be achieved through crushing your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

The game started in a pretty standard normal way, teams attacked, teams defended. I made sure I kept myself close to Gavin, but not too close. 

Soon my friend. Soon....
I let the war go on around me. I conserved my ammo and maintained position waiting for my chance to seek the high court of battlefield justice. I stayed close to Gavin, just close enough so I could see the fear in the traitors eyes when the time came.

After five minutes a marshal blew a whistle and announced that it was now a free for all and all rules were off. 

Gavin, upon hearing this decided it would be funny to take a pop shot at me. His effort missed, but he had now given me all the excuse I needed to utterly destroy him. 

Oh no you di'int
He had no idea what I was planning and unbeknown to him he had made a crucial error in his defensive positioning. During the first five minutes of the game, his position and covering made him well defended against forward attack, but not attack from the rear. It probably never occurred to him that someone would attack him from behind or indeed that that person would be his best man and life-long friend, and that man would bring the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse with him.

After his first pot shot at me, he giggled and gave me a look that said “What do you expect? I’m trying to shoot you, you would do the same if you could.” Then it suddenly dawned on him that I could and that I would be doing just that. He suddenly realised just how exposed and vulnerable he now was to my wrath. A sudden dawning and realisation crept across his face as I raised my gun towards him. 

For the briefest of moments our eyes locked in a second that told the story of a life time. He could see there was no soul within me now. It had been lost on the battlefield where he left me to die. I was no longer the guy who he had grown up with and had known for over 30 years. I was now death incarnate and I was riding a horse of justice and revenge. There was nowhere for him to go. He was still under attack from forward positions and was on the edge of the game arena. He looked to his right and saw the fence some 15 foot away that signalled the boundary, if he could reach the fence he would be out of the game and I would no longer be able to extract my revenge. 

I had no intention of giving him this opportunity however. Even before he could raise himself from his seated position and advance towards to the fence like a punch drunk boxer desperately trying to save himself till the bell, my bullets started flying towards him. He took the first few hits well, but winced and arched in pain. Managing to crawl onto his hands and knees he started his slow advanced towards the fence. 

Still taking shots from forward positions, he foolishly decided to lie on his back in a desperate attempt to return fire on me. This was a tragic mistake that would stay with him for the rest of his life. He was now unable to get up and make a run for it as my bullets kept him pinned down on the ground.

I advanced further upon him. My trigger finger a blur of fury. Taking careful aim from all of 3 foot away, I made every precious shot count.

*no caption needed*
Ignoring the bullets whizzing around my head I unleashed the full extent of my hatred. From just a few feet away I unloaded over 200 bullets into him. He started to scream, the full realisation of what was happening suddenly dawning on him as he desperately tried to crawl further towards the rope, his progress hindered by the fact that his body was now just a pulp of blood, bone and paint. He attempted to raise his own gun in some feeble attempt of defence, maybe more in reflex than attack, but as soon as his fingers were exposed, I took aim on them and turned them into what looked like overcooked sausages that had burst open in the middle.

Now racked with tortuous pain, he continued to crawl on his back towards the rope as I bared my teeth and cursed at him in 4 different languages in order to ensure that his soon to be daparted spirit would never find peace. Turning onto his front he wiggled and flopped like a drunken bull seal on a beach as he continued his pitifully slow advance towards the rope. 

The rest of the group had stopped playing at this point. They just stood in stunned silence at the horrors being committed in front of them. A small child, not old enough to understand the complexities and brutal nature of man quietly wept; falling to his knees as he looked to the sky in questioning of an unloving God that would allow such a thing to happen.

All attempts to conceal his pain and anguish had long since left his crippled body. All Gavin could hope for now was the sweet release of death. But it would not come. I made sure of that. I wanted his pain to last a life time.

He screamed at me to stop. 


He somehow managed to drag his bloody mess of a carcass to the boundry fence as a marshal came to his aid. The marshal looked at me with a mix of awe and disgust. 

The Marshall would later tell us that he had been in the actual army for 20 years and had served in many real life bloody wars when in service, but this was the most brutal, terrifying and shameless war crime he had ever seen committed.

He later erect a plaque to the “Massacre of Heatherton Sports Complex”. He would leave a single rose upon that site, on that day, every year, for the rest of his life.

Gavin didn’t really talk to me on the way home for some reason. Maybe he was in shock, or maybe he took a bullet to the larynx. 

So i'm still best man right?
All I know is you NEVER leave a man behind, you never make him cross dress in a skinny kilt and you never mess with me when it comes to mother fucking paintball!

If you do…. I will make you pay.