Short fiction and serialised novellas of GJ Fairlamb

Archive for December 2012

After Diary – November

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Sorry for the late/sporadic posting. Still not writing very much, and getting a new job and a rotten cold at the same time doesn’t help me to be productive.



One time, on bonfire night, a drunken 14-year-old girl ned punched me on the nose. No reason. Said my voice was annoying her. I’m lucky it didn’t break or anything. I’ve never liked it since, but this year it was kind of ok, if you can believe it.

No fireworks or anything, but we managed a decent bonfire. Talked about Guy Fawkes and hating the English and everyone laughed a lot. Sometimes Eddie has a go at Louise and Claire for being Rangers supporters and they have a go back at him for Celtic, but there’s no way it can be harsh any more. Life’s too precious, and all that.

Ben’s birthday’s on the 12th. All the prepackaged cake mixes ask for an egg to be added and they’re long out of date. Claire said oil can work just as well, or syrup, and that it’s easy enough to make it from scratch when there’s scales lying around everywhere. I had to tell her my plan when I asked, and she said it sounds great. An oven is just a pocket of heat, so we can do it easily. I don’t want to do it in the open though. Got a better idea.


Osian is the most condescending bastard I’ve ever known. Oh, good to see you finally talking to everyone. Fucker. He knows you just do what you have to. In normal life I’d never have gone near these guys – hell, I’d probably have avoided half of them on the street! But you make do. You have to.


Maggots in old flour. I’m gonna gag if I see another lot. That’s what I get for breaking in to old flats, Dave said (because Claire told him, the bitch). It’s easier than I thought: kick near the latch, and bring a sledgehammer in case that doesn’t work. Makes me worry how really defenceless I was back in old days.

Piles of dust about thses flats, on the floor and beds and couches. Have to bring them to Osian for analysis. Makes me want to cry. Crystal can’t see me bringing them back or she cries. He says thanks. I wonder what kind of people they were, and whether I would’ve liked them or not, and all sorts of horrible upset things.


The cake was a bit burnt and weird texture. I made a fire in an old flat’s oven to get it done, and I had to spit wipe a lot of dust off of old bowls and tins to get it done (luckily everyone’s less squeamish about that kind of shit now, ha ha ha!). Making the icing was fun though – I put blue food colouring through it, got some old fondant and made a football and letters to put on top. Everyone was dead impressed that I’d made it, even if it did look and taste a bit shitty.

For his birthday, Ben got his own duvet to curl up in, new waterproof shoes, and the promise of guitar lessons from Eddie. And Osian got him a bike, so he can start scouting a little bit, and help us connect to the other groups around. Claire said he might even be a good messenger for us. He looked happy at being useful. I used to argue that we should keep teaching him, but that fell apart pretty quickly. I can see why the only way they got every kid to school was by making a law about it, if there’s better work for them to be doing.

Got a tear in my eye when they sang happy birthday and brought my cake in. He really smiled. Everyone was wiping away tears after a little bit, even him. I wonder how much he misses his parents. I can’t even describe how much I miss mine, and I’m a responsible adult. Makes me sick, really, even though I know they’d have wanted me to live. They would have known what to do, and helped to sort everything out better. My sister lived in London. Part of me really really hopes she’s alive and okay, but another small part of me hopes that she’s not struggling like us and that she’ll never know what a state I’ve become, what we’ve all become really.


Louise keeps asking me what I’m reading, and when I tell her she wants to know more, and I tell her to read it herself and she says she hasn’t got the time and it’s better when I summarise it for her. She has got the time. She’s just an illiterate twat.


It’s. Fucking. Freezing. My hands are barely warm enough to move, let alone write. Definitely colder since the Plague. We’ve all been learning how to start fire from an old scout book I found, since the lighters will run out faster than we’d like at the rate we use them. Osian told me to stop moaning at everyone for smoking, since it heats them up and makes them eat less and we’ve plenty of fags to go through. I told him I thought a smart scientist like him would, y’know, fucking care if some of the last survivors of humanity are going to drop dead of cancer or heart disease. He said that that’s a longer-term problem than we can think at the moment. I thought he was meant to be the man planning for us?

Louise’s been looking smug and gossiping with Crystal. I don’t give a fuck if she’s fucking Osian as well as Dave. “Any hole’s a goal,” I guess. She’s a hole, all right.

Have taken to wearing tights and socks and boots and jeans and two t-shirts and jumper and jacket. If I walk about it’s okay and I get warm enough. I asked if I should walk to the West End and see how things are, and everyone said there was no point if they’re gonna send someone cycling in a few days. There’s still a lot of bagging up to do. I sing to keep awake while I’m working. I always wanted to play guitar, but, y’know.


Came out with it. Osian got embarrassed. Said it’s our job to keep human race going, and that if we’re staying here and can’t do so much else, we might as well.

Bastard. Cunt.

This isn’t some harem shit for Dr Chemist. This is fucking-over-your-life shit. This is potential-to-die shit. This is setting-back-women-centuries motherfucking shit. You can’t force that shit on people.

Told him to go die in a fire. He thinks I’m too angry, and said he didn’t say I had to or anyone had to. Of course he fucking didn’t! That’s not the point!!

Nearly everyone I know is fucking dead. Is that not good enough reason to be angry???


Ben went to the West End and back today. People are asking after Crystal and JJ. People at the uni have been filtering Kelvin water, and said they’d send someone over to help us rig something up as soon as we need it. We’ve got enough for the minute, but it’s good to know they’re being proactive. There’s probably stuff in Cali that can help us to do it.

I asked Louise if she was worried about getting pregnant the other day and she actually laughed and said she’s on the implant. Stupid Dr Chemist. I asked what’ll she do when it runs out and she shrugged and said she might as well get pregnant then. I said it’s likely that she or Crystal might die if they have kids and she got angry and had a real go at me, saying that if hundreds of thousands of women have done it before, we can all do it. I said ‘Sorry I don’t want you to die,’ and she said to stop fucking scaremongering and don’t I dare mention this to Crystal because she’s scared enough as it is.

Thing is I used to read this stuff all the time. Maternal mortality rates, infant mortality rates, how in medieval times most women died before they were thirty because of childbirth, and you might have to have four kids before one sticks and lives. I wish I was still living in the modern world.



Last night, Osian talked about his wife.

We were all by the fire and talking and Eddie was teaching Ben guitar and Eddie was singing ‘Caledonia, you’re calling me’ and Osian started singing along with him and before anyone knew it, he was talking about his wife and how they lived for a while up in Inverness before coming down here, and how one Christmas with her family they all started singing that song it always made him think of then, and of her, and then he started crying and saying how she was at work in the council chambers when the Plague hit and he ran to find her but there was nothing round her seat and she could have been anywhere in the building, could have been any one of the piles of dust sitting around the council chambers.

I’ve never seen Osian cry before. Never even seen him look upset. When I found him he’d already set up the lab for analysis and made a little group with Eddie and Dave and Claire. I thought Thank Christ, someone more like me. But I don’t think I actually get him at all. I’ve never seen Louise look more awkward than she did when the wife was first mentioned last night. By the end they were all howling, of course, and talking about their own families.

Crystal mentioned it was St Andrew’s Day today, since she wanted to work with me today. No-one noticed it even before the Plague, really. I told her that Tenerife’s flag is the same as ours because they have St Andrew as their saint too and she said Andrew’s not a very foreign name. I think I needed something to crack me up, after last night. Not sure when I’ll face Osian again. It’ll be all weird, I think, after everything, but I’ll have to. Crystal looks miserable at the minute – nearly everyone does. Nearly December. I have to suck it up and be strong for everyone.


Written by G.J.

10/12/2012 at 1:11 am