Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Number One Under Heaven (8)

Blake was perched on the edge of the bed, the telephone in one hand while the fingers of the other ran through his dark, wavy hair. Although it was only six in the evening, his hangover had already begun to envelop him, its screaming pulse exacerbating the waves of nausea he felt. He had yet to make the call to Deeds, as he knew he must, and was struggling to think of what he would say. He wished the fuzz in his head would disappear, enabling him to think. Then startling him with its vibration the phone suddenly rang out, causing him to drop the receiver. Fuck! He scrambled around on the floor, managing only to knock it further away from him: the device spinning across the parquet beneath the bed. Shit! Kneeling unsteadily, Blake then lowered his head, pressing the side of his face to the floor, while peering under the bed. The throbbing inside became heavier as gravity conspired with his pulse to pump extra blood to the site of his suffering. It felt like his brain was floating in a red sea of the stuff, knocking into his skull with the ebb and flow of its tide. Stretching out an arm, he finally grasped the handset which, somewhat surprisingly, was still vibrating. Determined fucker, whoever it is, he thought. Blake then viewed the display, groaning audibly as he registered the words ‘Unknown Number’; suggesting that the call emanated from overseas. He hesitated for a moment, before gritting his teeth while pressing the receiver’s green ‘accept’ button. “Adam,” came an icy voice from the other end of the line. “Yes?” “It’s Loren. I’ve been trying to get you all afternoon. Where are the re-worked numbers?”

Deeds was cold. Audibly agitated. Under persistent pressure from New York, he knew of only one way to deflect it. Downwards. Except that this particular strategy had not worked today, which annoyed him. Greatly. “I… I’m sorry, Loren. Food poisoning. I’ve been as sick as a dog all afternoon. Must’ve eaten something. I’ll get the numbers to you in the morning.” “First thing.” “For sur–” But the line was dead: Deeds had already rung off. Bollocks, thought Blake. Shove the fucking numbers up your Septic arse, you immature cunt. But inwardly, he was kicking himself.

Shuffling through to the bathroom, he leant on the wall in front whilst urinating a prolonged discharge of completely clear liquid, the familiar result of excessive bingeing. Then wrapping a towel around his waist, he moved back through the bedroom, ignoring the unmade bed. Exiting into the dark corridor that led to the lounge, Blake listened for signs of life, but was unrewarded. The apartment was empty and silent. Cold. There was no note on the table, nor the kitchen counter, which led him to assume that he was being excluded from today’s family dinner, as a form of punishment. She’s probably taken Sophie to the piazza, he concluded, nodding to himself reassuringly. The stench of something gone off then crashed like a wave over his face as he opened the fridge door, his head twisting away in revulsion. Why the fuck doesn’t she keep an eye on this sort of thing? he asked himself. It’s not as if she fucking works for a living, or anything.

Blake then ripped off the cap from a carton of carrot juice – which he hated – and gulped it down directly from the container. Retching, he narrowly avoided chucking it straight back up, all over the kitchen. But after an uncertain pause he regained enough of his composure to take the remainder with him, through into the lounge. His throat was parched and there was nothing else in the fridge, so carrot juice would have to suffice. Turning on the television in the vain hope of discovering that Singapore had just been nuked, Blake then slumped on to the sofa, his genitals dangling out as the towel parted from around him. He could scarcely believe it when, at that precise moment, the door opened and Kate walked in, with Sophie a pace behind. This was proving not to be Adam Blake’s day.

“Adam!” his wife barked at him, as he quickly covered up. “For God’s sake! Get dressed will you? You’re a bloody embarrassment!” Poor Sophie gazed down at the floor in silence, increasingly aware that all was not well between her parents. And although Blake was angry at Kate’s latest outburst, he decided to let it go, for his daughter’s sake. “OK darling, sorry about that. Yes, you’re quite right – I’ll go and put some clothes on.” Turning to Sophie, he then asked: “And how’s Daddy’s little angel? Did you have a good day at school, sweetheart?” “Tell Daddy all about your picture while Mummy gets ready for tennis,” Kate said, before Sophie could respond. “Tennis?” Blake queried, his head still pounding. “What – again?” “I suppose you’ve forgotten that as well,” his wife replied. “It’s my lesson today, remember? Only tonight it’s a bit later than usual. Tommy’s had to switch me around.”

posted by Kirk at 2:58 am  

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