THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER VII

Again, special thanks to Cindy for giving me solid constructive criticism after I posted my last chapter. I also must thank my fellow Aussie Lloyd for also giving me constructive feedback. It is much appreciated! Hopefully I can get more feedback… hopefully from Ruth, who has just finished her script! Go check out her site now, it is fantastic.

If you think any part is plain crap, PLEASE, let me know! Just give a good reason, and what you think would work. Any and all comments are very much appreciated.

Again, thanks to anyone who is reading this. Hopefully I will finish this story and get it out there… If my story can help just one person I’ll be satisfied.My aim is to finish by the end of the year. I’ve got this one finished, so three left. One per month should be doable I think!

ANYWAYS, if you want to catch up on my roller-coaster ride through a cult-based rehab ‘clinic’:

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER VI


Thanks to some very loud, abrasive music to use as my alarm, I was able to haul my sorry excuse for a human out of bed this morning, the sheets again soaked in sweat. I can hear the irritatingly up-beat voices of other residents gathering at the back gate, ready for their unavoidable morning walk. I looked at the clock. It was 7:50. I knew my clock was slightly fast, but it was time to face the stars and to remove myself from isolation, even if against my own will.

I haven’t managed to annoy every person here yet, so I am able to walk with the few guys here that I am friendly with. All we seem to talk about though was this MRA malarkey, which I have not yet fully grasped, so my input to the conversation was limited. I despise small talk in normal circumstances, but to talk about the counselling program of the facility non-stop? Ugh, please let it cease!

For the first time since I got here, I am starting to feel doubt. I am fantasising and picturing jumping the gate I just left once it is dark, but before 9pm, allowing me access to a late-night chemist and hence access to my DOG, my enemy, my drug of choice. I’m in Port Adelaide. Not only is a late-night chemist guaranteed, so is any judgement or questioning from any pharmacist. I know where I am. They must get people like me all the time.

What is playing on my mind is which chemists care? Some do, they’ll ask for a driver’s license sometimes. On the other side of the moon, other chemists are too happy to sell addictive opiates over the counter, as profit margins usually out-way concepts such as ethics or humanity. A random test of my piss lurked in the back of my mind, but I figure, hey, I came here with a fierce addiction. No shit it is in my piss!

Lost in my own dream world I was stirred by my name being called, my opinion asked by one of the few who didn’t mind walking alongside me. More questions about my opinion of the facility, the residents, the people in charge. I was not in a state to converse such trivial matters. As we walk and walk it is occurring to me that my headphones will pay for themselves, and then some, while walking this compulsory route. An opportunity to block out everyone. An easy way of making these torturous walks as bearable as possible.

With the cold stinging my face and causing a headache born of cold, we proceeded to the water front of all places. We walk along it in several groups split from each other; I saw obvious bonds between residents and obvious rejections. And it was of course of obvious that most of my fellow residents were already forming their negative judgements of my insane behaviour, my incessant eccentricity.

I was at the back of the split groups, walking with a fellow addict who had attempted suicide twice, and was at Archway for not only alcoholism but also amphetamine addiction. Someone who understood what I had experienced on my roller-coaster of a journey to this place. Someone he had obviously formed a bond with walked with us, Bill, who was a quiet guy who also seems to be shunned by the rest of the group, but in reality he was a man with a kind soul who had suffered from heroin addiction. Opiates. A guy who got it, understood the horrors of it all.

As we were walking I began to discuss with Dale more in-depth topics such as music and writing, the two subjects that make my consciousness feel alive with purpose and inspiration; dreams and aspirations. We were discussing authors and different genres; we agreed that ‘weird fiction’ is what its about, as the great H.P. Lovecraft coined. We were discussing authors when we were interrupted by a guy I didn’t know from a fly’s outlook on life, asking both of us for a spare smoke. And a light.

“Are you kidding me,” Dale smirks. It was clear that there was no friendship of any kind between these two.

“Hey I gave you one when you were desperate to sleep and it was too late to leave on a day pass!”

This forty-something bald man, obviously intellectually affected by what drugs he had been having issues with, seems to have a defective memory that rivals my own, and I have to admit, super-seeds it. It feels massive in proportion to the memory defects I experience.

Dale smirked again, but his eyebrows have changed slightly, he is obviously becoming irritated.

“And how many did I roll you in the first month you were here? I didn’t see you buy a pack or a pouch at all! I handed out rollies to you as if you were starving… of fucking nicotine. But I didn’t act like a cunt like you are now. I handed out tailers, rollies, hell we even shared a jar of coffee during your first week man!! Christ mate, I swear you’re-“

“-Yeah alright, whatever,” he said. “Prick,” I heard just as he walked out of hearing range. Dale heard him and just shook his head.

“Yeah that’s Shane. He, uh.. doesn’t really think properly.”

Amused by the minor incident, we walked in silence admiring the beauty of Port Adelaide, docks and goods ships dotting the minor river. It really is a pathetic sight; cranes everywhere, the scene littered with unfinished upgrades, demolitions and general improvements in a seemingly feeble attempt to rescue the empty businesses dotting a rather sad attempt at a mall of restaurants and cafes.

One remained open I noticed, and as I walked past I thought I’d have a look through the darkly tinted windows –  there was not a soul to be spotted. For a second I felt bad, a man’s business going bust. But I immediately moved on, issues such as this, business, money, it matters little to me. Taking out a loan is jumping into the sea with a shark and a rusty cage that has a rather obvious problem with the space between the bars as far as I am concerned. Hell, the concept of interest is enough for me to know to steer clear. Not to mention that nobody needs that much money to live; to be happy. Christ, I am paying to stay here from a disability pension! And previous to arriving here, I survived just fine.

I am rambling again. I feel I may have gone off topic. Ah, right, Dale and I are walking vaguely walking towards the facility. More construction sites greeted us as the smell of pollution and dog biscuits filled the air and travelled through my nasal cavities

“This place is a shithole,” I lazily said.

“Well yeah mate. It’s Port Adelaide.”

I muttered some sort of murmured gibberish, intended as an agreement. He sensed it and we continued walking.

Another resident jogged toward me. He was a drummer, and had decided to latch onto me as his best friend of the house. He is talking rapidly, and I can’t focus on what he is saying, his speech is simply to fast for me as the voices in my head attempted to drown out his droning.

“Man I can’t wait for this afternoon bro! We can have a jam and rock the place down!!”

I wasn’t keen on the idea. I am already beginning to walk on a fragile ceiling, and I don’t want to cause more trouble.

“Sounds good man,” I heard myself say, annoyed at my own kindness and general terror of conflict with other people I don’t know well.

Andy is a nice enough guy. But his enthusiasm for mundane tasks is beginning to irritate me. In addition, I had spoken to him in my first week, discussing our reasons for essentially locking ourselves up. To my utter surprise, Andy told me that he is spending six months here for a supposed marijuana addiction. When I heard this I was somewhat speechless for a moment.

Rehab… for weed? The whole idea confused me, but fortunately he is almost at the end of those six months, ready and excited to move into a ‘halfway house’. To put it lightly, his reasons for being here, and his enthusiasm is slowly drilling a hole into my sanity.

It is no secret to these people that I love drumming. But if it causes complaints, fuck it! I want to stay here, I want to be clean for six months. The temptations are demanding. But the fear of being caught erased any fear of lapsing; I knew I could never muster the energy and confidence to sneak out of the facility unseen. Not to mention I was yet to complete my first step, which meant that if I wanted to leave the facility for a walk, I need to be accompanied by someone who has completed a certain amount of steps.

Damnit, I just want to go to the library! I NEED A BOOK TO LOSE MYSELF IN!!

But to do so, I am forced to ask around, to the people who don’t already despise me; a small number indeed. Promises were made, I was guaranteed by two residents that they could take me to the library tomorrow. But my gut, it was telling me otherwise. I am not feeling confident that I will be able to visit this library. All I want is one novel by Stephen King. I am not asking too much am I?

20 Comments on “THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER VII

  1. Jordan, you are kind to give me credit, but it’s your creation and labor love, and I’m happy to throw in my 2 cents. I liked feeling like I was in the room suffering with you. The walks were a good idea; I have said this before, I’m a fan of sensory imagery. As we walk outside the asylum, I’d love to see/hear/smell the place. The only “criticism” I have would be to keep in past tense. When you jump from past tense to present perfect (the evil tense at Grad School) it muddies your style. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to the narrator (you) dealing with the chemical addiction and how he comes out of it. The D/Ts are fascinating to me in the physiological and psychological sense. In my current book, George, “chases the dragon”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I have been having issues with tense. You see…. this is all from notes I kept in there, so I want it to feel like it is happening now. But you how I’m approaching it is a bit confusing?

      I have worried about that… I don’t want the reader to think that I know the ending, if that makes sense, because I didn’t when I was writing those notes.

      I want it to sound like I am writing the book as I am in there, which is proving to be much more difficult than I thought

      Liked by 1 person

      • hang in there. You could try reading Edgar A. Poe. As you are probably aware, he writes about stuck in a nightmarish place and the reader frequently goes along with him, not knowing what will happen. A model helps when you’re not sure. The key is to be consistent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I love Poe but haven’t read much recently, I think I might. I think also reading some Hunter Thompson will help me, as its a similar style to how he wrote

        however… he literally wrote as it happened, whereas I am trying to achieve that effect but am not in the moment while writing like he was.

        Hmmmmmmmm!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, you mentioned a while back you bought a copy of my book, The Knife with the Ivory Handle, I think, on Kindle. Even if you never got through it all, I would recommend you visit the last third of the book–there are supernatural happenings, a pretty big twist in the plot–I think you might like it.

    Like

    • Damn my memory! I started it and really was getting into it, then study started and kinda took over my life. I’ll have to get back to it, I had to download a kindle app for android so I could read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry I took a little while to get over here Jordan mmmm’kay 🙂 hope you got my twitter messages, I started a new job 2 weeks ago and had so little time for wordpress! 😦 I’ve bookmarked this to read on my lunch break tomorrow, give me something to look forward to! I’m so looking forward to the next chapter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me know what you think eh? I’m getting a little stuck on tense, tell me your thoughts. If you read my comments with Cindy you’ll see what I am aiming for with this

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll read it and your comments with Cindy 🙂 that’s so weird, I always have a problem with tense too! It sounds like such a simple one but some sentences I really scratch my head lol trying to work out what tense it should be.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve made it harder that I needed to by t rying to make it sound as if I wrote the whole thing while in there. I want the reader to sense that I don’t know how its going to end. So…. yeah, with this particular setup I’m not sure what works best. Need to read some Hunter Thompson methinks!

        Did you say you’ll read it or that you have read it? Would love to hear any feedback 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Jordan, sorry I took so long to read this. Spent all October cranking out posts and kind if buried my head in the sand. Once again, I really enjoyed your writing. Though it’s been a while since I read the previous chapters, I was easily absorbed into story. You do a great job creating empathy through your conversational style.

    Cindy is spot on about the tense. However, don’t take that to mean you shouldn’t try to put the reader there with you in the present. You absolutely should because it fits the story perfectly. It’s just a matter of proofreading to spot all the places where you need to change ‘was’ to ‘is’ and so on. Even the very best writers can struggle with this on their first drafts. Again, proofreading is key.

    Great job! Looking forward to the next chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’ll need a lot of editing for it to be consistent. The thing is though, I want some parts to be written in the present tense as they are happening, but I want other parts to sound like me writing about what had happened earlier that day. I think that is making it too confusing though. I need a good editor!

      Like

  5. Pingback: THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER VIII | epileptic moondancer

  6. Pingback: THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER VI | epileptic moondancer

  7. Pingback: THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER X | epileptic moondancer

  8. Pingback: THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER XI | epileptic moondancer

  9. Pingback: ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER XII | epileptic moondancer

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