CLOCKWORK CONSCIENCE

Years Active: 2015 - 2017

Genre: Thriller

Published: Self-Published
Available on: Amazon
Pages: 222

 

Written by: Jordan Tury

Edited by: James Whitten

Cover Design by: Adam Taylor
 

PROLOGUE


 

Through frosty eyes and cinnamon skies, you awake with only a vague pixilated memory of the night before.
Super glued vision and a claustrophobic’s wall-less prison; you struggle.
Lying next to a stranger who you think’s name is Carl, but haven’t the slightest fucking clue as to who he is or where he emerged from.
A ‘true mate and a brother’ is what you were calling him last night; when really he’s just the pizza delivery boy who stopped for a quick drink and ended up passing out from one too many Sambuca’s.
Rotten mattresses crammed with lowlife ratbags and stale kebabs – you sense it.

Alone, but not quite comfortable.
One too many unfamiliar faces with dripping froth that’s sour and oh so tasteless.
If only you can erase this previous sixteen hours; but doing so would only replace it.
Replace the ‘good times’ of the people you’ve learnt to love in the space of one white night; and fill it in with another dull night that you’ll never remember at all.

It’s all a game to you, and living these risky nights is all but fun in the run up to becoming the adult you never wanted to be.
With lifeless bodies around you and a headache more horrific than cancer itself – you still smile, and allow just a little cackle to leave your broken mouth.

Repeated acoustic tracks and looped bass lines lodged inside your head from sleeping through it for far too long.
It beats and it screams, destroying another brain cell after each shudder of an eyelash.
Slowly fading in and out of darkness – you are afraid and unaware of your surroundings.

With poisoned hints of whiskey on the tip of your tongue and crumbled tobacco peeling off of your dry lips; you shuffle a foot and tweak a muscle.
With a little bit of weak motivation; you are able to open both eyes and witness the scene you were and are still in fact a part of.

A room no larger than the size of four grown men; all covered in a sheet of darkness with only one small light seeping through the frail ripped curtain.
You ask yourself the obvious – how did I get here? But have no recollection whatsoever.
Only mosaic dreams filled with wasted conversations and meaningless hesitation.

We pick ourselves up and escape the picture perfect moment; and tell ourselves to get our heads together and grow the fuck up.
But we then think different, and ignore the angel sitting upon our tingling shoulder; because deep down we know in fact…that we want the devil to guide us for a while.

Sitting at home on a Friday night no longer appeals to us; but engaging with strangers and drinking eight times over the limit somehow does.
It’s a part of life, and something we are proud to call childhood.
We laugh about these times as we grow a little older; reminiscing about the danger we put ourselves through and the how our responsibilities’ rarely grew.
We chuckle and we splutter, and refer to these times as the best days of our lives; although we struggle to remember most of them.

As we grow older, we grow more paranoid of forgetting these times; and that they’ll eventually mean nothing to us anymore.
With no importance or relevance; we are left as only blank canvases with no splash of colour anywhere on them.

We live in the moment; and try never to let go of that rule of thumb.
But unfortunately, we are not made that way; and a little thing called change plays too much of a big part in our lives.
So we lose our thoughts and soon become the person we never wanted to be; and within the click of two fingers you’ve aged ten years.

Within the blink of an eye – we change.
But do we ever willingly let go of those good times and give in to change?
…do we fuck.

We remember these times, and we fight for them; hoping that one day when we’re sat on a veranda clutching nothing but a fistful of melancholy and a penniless pension, we can proudly say to ourselves -
‘Oh to be young again…’ and never regret one single moment.

When we are old and grey, we should be able to stop ourselves before we go and say, ‘well fuck, I lived my life after all’

That…that is what we all want…

 


‚Äč

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Have you ever felt so afraid of change that it makes you lose sleep at night?
Tossing and turning you struggle to close your eyes in case you’ll dive into a black hole of change and never return?
Like a dagger to the throat, change approaches at the most spontaneous times, and sometimes we are not ready to face it.
This of course, could be something so small and simple; but then again, it could also be giant and core shattering.
A new relationship, a new career, the loss of a loved one?

Change is something most of us don’t want; yet we sometimes have limited choice but to just get on with it and prey for a brighter outcome.
From swings and roundabouts to finance and taxes – we grow older.
Much older.

Stubble grows on our chins and sooner or later we look back and realize that we aren’t as young and as innocent as we used to be.
Fragile minds slowly fade into corruption and greed; and soon we find ourselves in a dog eat dog world; fighting for scraps and pennies.

Sure, it’s terrifying and twisted – but that’s life.
And I guess some days we just need to put on a brave face, lift up our belt and braces and just say,
‘Fuck it’

But only, and if only we were able to take a step backwards; then my God I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Back to the days of no responsibility and worries of money or appearance.
Days where only friendship mattered and nothing else.
I speak, of course, about childhood.
Thirteen through to sixteen to be precise; now those were the years to be alive.

Now I’m not saying I’m ancient; in fact I’m far from it.


I’m seventeen for Christ’s sake; and have a shit load more of life yet to experience.
I am somewhat dramatic yes, and I do tend to talk to myself on one too many occasions.
I’m not saying I should be in a straight jacket or anything; but I do often overthink a little more than the average bloke.
So no padded cell for me – not yet anyway.

I’m overthinking every situation, and rambling on at myself about change; but all within reason.
For today is a new day, and is the beginning of the next chapter in my life.
The leaf has been turned and suddenly I am facing new obstacles that I have never seen before.
So panicking about change is acceptable, and I’m sure everybody else here is in the same boat.

I look to my left, and then over to the right; only to see groups of newbies clutching second-hand laptops and fistfuls of melancholy.
Potential corporate businessmen and corrupt lawyers fill this room; only making me feel that little bit more agitated.
I tweak my leg slightly and begin jerking it up and down; paranoid of the camp guy giving me the eyes over on the other table.

I speak as if I am about to enter a warzone, when in fact I’m not.
I guess I’m just overthinking things again and expecting the worst; as I’ve always done.
Well, tell a lie – should this have been four years ago then I’d have walked in here without a single care in the world; living my care free life on a candy cloud.

 

College?
Shit...it’s starting already.
And here I was thinking I could cling on to a few more years of twiddling my thumbs and launching myself off of playground roundabouts.
But no, I’m left to face the harsh reality of the clean slate; stood uptight and dressed like a total dickhead, only to impress my surrounding lecturers.

Two years ago I spoke of this day to some friends; smoking a joint and reminiscing of even younger years like my life was almost at its demise.
From passing around a bottle of cheap vodka in a run-down flat to sitting up straight in a shirt and tie for my first day of college.
Two years?
More like three fucking minutes.

As I have grown up I’ve heard the same speech a million times from the elders.
‘Life only goes quicker as you get older’
And if that’s the case, then my life will be over in about twenty minutes at this rate; because I’m almost certain school didn’t even happen for me.

“Want the best first impressions they will” mum said this morning; when really I could see it in her careless eyes that she could not in fact give two single fucks.
She threw a sandwich and some fruit into a bag and basically told me to ‘get a fucking job’
As if I was her heavy burden weighing her down.
I think deep down, and I really mean this…but I think she’s proud really – just too bloody afraid to admit it.

I sit here, in a black and grey jumper stroke blazer combo; eyeing up my ‘competition’ and ready to supposedly ‘learn’ my new profession.

Creative writing?

Should have been an easy enough course to break into, right?

But it turns out that these days you have to take part in the most fucking ridiculous extra-curricular activities to get that gig.

So, didn't do enough tennis club?

No fucking diploma for you, mate.

 

I have arrived at what seems like the worst college in the country; and the only thing that seems appealing is today’s lunch menu; and even that is pretty bloody dire.

Skeptical, I know.

But as a seventeen year old I have to be; and if I'm not as snobby as the next teenager then that would just make me as boring as the rest of the population.
Why be ready salted when you can be cheese and onion, right?

I am in fact, a dick...and fully aware of it.

 

Fresh out of secondary school with a head full of great expectations and a fistful of tacky GCSE's - I was ready.

But now, after seeing even the fresher banner out front; I'm already thinking otherwise, and how I can make my first escape into full-time employment.

 

I have always had a lot of motivation and ambition, sure.

It's just that I really do lack the patience to sit around and wait for something better.

So in a way, I'm lazy, and I'm arrogant; but oh so unique.

 

For the first day I admit I've come unprepared; but that's probably due to the fact that I've been accepted into a course that wasn't of my choosing.

I'm taking photography; and not even a high level of photography either.

So the first class will most likely consist of trying to identify where the fucking power button on a camera is.

Plus, I'll most likely be landed with the freaks; and give it about ten minutes and I'm sure one of them will latch onto me like a foul odor.

‘Can I borrow your pencil?' they'll ask; to which I'll reply with something just as welcoming.

'…Fuck off'
 

I mean, it's not all bad in a way; because I've actually shown up here with an old school friend of mine.

A mate who's been around since day one; and never fails to break my spirit.

This mate - Kai...is my only hope of surviving the next two years in this decrepit cesspit.
The good times are almost over and slowly vanishing into thin air; and so I’m left holding on to each good memory as if it were to fall through my hands at any moment.

 

It's a dog eat dog world, and in order to succeed I have to fight for it.

Only, it would seem that I'm not exactly best described as the most academic type.

And I'm sure as hell not one for sitting around playing scrabble and talking about politics.
Bollocks to that.

 

I'm seventeen for fuck sake; and that can only mean I have to follow the strict guidelines of young adulthood.

One guideline that lingers at the back of my mind like a proud and insensible stalker.

With great achievement I am able to follow these words like a code; and plan to until the day I die.

‘Sex, drugs...rock and roll'

 

Proper bloody cliché of a teenage boy, aren't I?

A bloke who thinks with his dick and not with his mind I guess; just like the rest of them.

So I give it a good half an hour until my eyes drift away from a textbook and towards the nearest pair of DD's.

And yet, I couldn't be happier about this.

 

So sure, photography is...somewhat interesting; but I have higher things on my mind.

Much higher.

I am not afraid to say it, so I will...fuck this place.

Fuck it all.

 

Yet, in this time thinking about all of this shit; I have probably missed the introduction given out by the bloke standing in front of us.
Meaning, I couldn’t even recall his surname let alone his position here in the department.
Excellent start Taylor, you are on your way to pure distinction, mate.

College.
‘A place for great minds to become greater, and for young minds that intend to expand their knowledge and become visionaries; through the power of experienced and respectful staff – we will guide you there…’
This is what the prospectus brochure told us upon our arrival; and yet funnily enough I am finding it almost hard to believe.

 

I scan my eyes over the man ahead of us; and by noticing his curry-stained shirt and crumpled charcoal faded jeans, I can quite confidently say…
“What a load of bollocks”

 

Shit.

“Excuse me?”
The room drops dead in silence.
Fuck, did I just say that out loud?

A jitter of legs throw themselves over towards my direction.
And with two coughs, a sneeze and giggle; it is seconds before all eyes are on me.
The pin has dropped, and suddenly I’m left with thirty six eyes on me like daggers to a target.
A few snigger at me, and peer over in complete awe, like I’m some sort of fucking icon.
However the remainder just gaze, and scoff at me as if I’m the devil himself; ruining their perfect little introduction from the man dressed like an onion bhaji.

A little awkward yes, but I just cough it off and mutter the word,
“Sorry…” to which he ignores.


So therefore, I have introduced myself as the class clown; and so begins my countdown timer to which I am expelled and applying for fast food chains.
…Great.

Although there is an incredibly awkward silence that lingers in the room; I still can’t help but cackle ever so slightly – if only to ease some of the tension.
The lecturers’ bold eyes slowly pan back towards the projector behind him; and just like that…I am off the hook.
Only now…I am probably the most hated student in the class.

Yet, something good must have come out of this; and I’m sure as hell it’ll be a hilarious story to tell Kai when I get chance to see him.
Just three more hours until I can break free from this torturous cave and see my one and only mate.
Three more…painfully dull, agonizing hours of shuffling papers and looking busy.

Kai is a good laugh, and he’ll see the funny side – I just know it.
Since he’s my best mate and has been since primary school; I know that he’ll give me some heart-warming advice on how to get back in the teachers good books.
He’s that sort of guy; and to others he’s a ‘legend’…but me on the other hand?
I’m just that guy who offends everybody without intention; and can make anyone clinically depressed should I actually speak my mind.
What a duo we are.

He’s somewhere on the opposite side of the building; studying something just as pointless as me.
Music Tech.
In short, that’s just an excuse to fuck about on some keyboards and pluck a guitar or two.
Yet, he still has it imprinted in his mind that he’ll make it big and become some acoustic God someday.
Keep dreaming, buddy.

Still, it’s nice to have a mate with such ambition.
Most of us are too busy thinking about which girl has the bigger cup size to actually give a fuck about anything intellectual.
So if he makes it as a musician, then allow me to be the first one to congratulate him.
As for me; I’ll just stand in his shadow and snap pictures on my crappy compact camera.


Therefore, let the learning commence; and God help me I make something of myself within these next two years.

Please…

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