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     Awake again. Alive again. It happened every morning. Terry had no reason to be surprised. Really, no reason at all. But still he spent a little time staring at the artex swirls on the ceiling and feeling his heartbeat and checking that the sky was still there in the split through the curtains. His fear of dying in his sleep had been a lifelong thing. Sometimes he felt as if the air were thick, as if it would choke and drown him in his lungs. Sometimes he feared the air would all be breathed away, or that his heart would just stop beating. It never did. It was all illogical, very illogical. But still, he feared.

     He sat up and pushed back his duvet. He put his feet on the floor and felt how very alive he was. There was still the corn on his left big toe, but that wasn’t fatal.

     Being vertical helped to shift the fear. He couldn’t say it eradicated it, but it put it on a different plane. He saw other things then. Other things that made him forget how thick or thin the air was or how hard his heart was beating. He could see the telegraph wires that hummed. He could see the run down brick wall at the end of the garden and the failing wooden fence at the side. He could see next door’s lawn and those hateful terriers running themselves in circles, and the hateful man who owned them.

     He didn’t want to possess his neighbour. It was the last thing he wanted to do. But hating someone makes them a part of yourself. They become part of your mind. Your thoughts are tangled in with thoughts of them. Their flesh is as intimate to you as your own. You know the clothes they wear and where they love to walk. It was the same with things. The things that he feared became part of his being. He was the cracks in the pavement. He was the drop of a kerb. But those things didn’t breathe. They didn’t live. They didn’t watch him with grey eyes as he walked down the road or call out to his tightened shoulder blades as he sought to get away quickly, more quickly. Not like the neighbour. There was nothing as hateful as that man next door.

     The terriers were yapping already. He saw through slightly blurred eyes that it was ten past seven, and those damn dogs were yapping already. Twenty minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off, and it was the high pitched barks that had woken him, as always. He stumbled over to his window and saw them out there in the garden next door running circles on the scratty lawn, and Him, he, the neighbour, standing with his bare feet perched on the edge of the grubby white plastic of the double-glazed door frame, an arc of liquid spraying out from the blurred pink member he held in his blurred pink hands.

     He pushed his own window open with the palm of his hand and shouted, ‘You’re fucking disgusting.’

     He left the window open while he went to the bathroom and ignored the vitriol that was shouted back. It filtered in through the bathroom window too. Terry put the battery powered radio on and cranked the volume up, and the voice of Chris Evans was amplified against the brittle artexed walls. The jackdaws that were nesting in the air vent up above started up their morning chatter, and Terry closed his eyes briefly as he peed and hummed along to Uptown Girl. The sun through the frosted glass window was golden and beautiful, and for a moment he forgot about Him Next Door in the swell of the music and the chatter of the birds and the music of his own arcing liquid hitting the water in the bowl.

     He opened his eyes to shake off the drips and moved to wash his hands, and through the gap around the opened frosted window he saw the white movement of those damn terriers, and the lawn next door spotted with darker green patches where urine had urged the grass on stronger, and brown ones where the dog turds had lain for weeks.

     He’d found his glasses by the time the kettle had boiled, on the side table by the sofa where he’d left them last night. He’d been watching Question Time, and Him Next Door had been listening to some kind of soppy music that had moaned and slurred inarticulately through the wall. He’d been drinking whiskey and water, and he imagined Him Next Door drinking tea steeped so long the spoon could stand up in it. That was the trouble with Him Next Door. Terry had never been into his house, but he still saw it; the sloughed off articles of clothing on the floor, the empty packets dropped by the armchair, the ash tray that badly needed emptying, the little drifts and swirls of white dog hair on everything.

     He hated him. As he stirred his spoon in his All Bran he hated his neighbour. As he dropped a spoonful of sugar into his tea and felt guilty about it he hated his neighbour. As he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and put on his tie he hated his neighbour. He was still hating him as he got into his car and the terriers yapped and jumped against the front fence and fell back onto the gravel behind. If there was a way to do away with the terriers without being caught, he’d do it. That was the next best thing to bumping off Him Next Door. He thought about rat poison, but the trouble was that Him Next Door knew that Terry hated him, and he was the first person he’d tell about to the RSPCA, or worse, the police.

     The thought of the police made him shudder a little. He’d never been involved with them, but that didn’t mean he wanted to. The thoughts in his head alone would get him arrested a million times. All they needed to do was get a look at his external hard drive and he’d probably be slung in pokey for fifty years. Was it illegal to download stuff from YouTube? It probably was. All Terry was focussed on was acquiring the stuff that made himself happy, because being happy was a sure way of keeping himself alive. But at the back of him was always that cardboard cut-out of fear, hovering. If he turned too fast he’d see someone from the copyright board shaking their fist.

     When he got home from work the terriers were still out there in the garden, on chains this time. Him Next Door was out. His car was gone, an oily patch on the road where he usually parked. The sun was August hot, and when Terry poked his nose over the fence he could see there wasn’t any water in reach. Sod poisoning the dogs. Him Next Door was going a fair way towards killing them himself. Their ratty tangled hair was always filthy, and the bitch was all stained around her back end.

     Terry went inside and looked up the number for the local RSPCA shelter on his laptop. He called them and they promised to stop by. Terry remained anonymous, but he peeked out from behind his curtain when the van arrived and a couple of them mooched over the fence and muttered to each other. They put a bowl of water down and a slip of paper through the door, and they left without taking the dogs. Terry’s heart sunk, and he went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

     Later that evening Him Next Door came home. Terry could tell that without twitching the curtain because of the noise his old Vauxhall made. The door opened, and then it slammed, and then it opened again and slammed harder. Then music started, very loud, with a hard beat. He heard a chair scrape on the floor, probably where the kitchen was. He heard those god damn terriers start up yapping and yapping, and then he heard a sob. When the music came to an end he could still hear the sobbing, and Terry started to feel vaguely uncomfortable.

     He went to bed with earplugs in. He gave a brief glance to the religious sampler his mother had made at school, the one that hung on the wall opposite the bed. That was his protection against thick air and choking and death in the night. He didn’t read tonight. He took in a deep breath and turned out the light and closed his eyes, and slept until the alarm went off at seven thirty. It was the first time the dogs hadn’t woken him up in years.

Neighbours
Terry hates his neighbour. His neighbour hates him.

Inspired by the quotes 'That's the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?' - Mary Oliver,
and
'Sometimes being uncomfortable is the only way to save yourself from settling.' Andrea Ager
via impolitepanda (now infjravenclaw.tumblr.com/), on tumblr.

    

Loading...
It really has. I don't spend a lot of time on dA any more, and I regret that. I miss the community. I miss the contact. But still I don't spend much time on here. I don't take a lot of photos. I don't publish my writing on here because I want to save it for publication, but I don't seek publication either.

On the other hand, things are good. We've finally moved to our (like rescued cats) forever home. Four acres. Chickens, geese, cats, dog. We bought five little ducks the other day. I hope we'll get more animals as time goes on. I want to have goats again, maybe pigs. We've moved in with my parents, and it seems like just in time, because my dad's health has taken a downturn and we need to help run the smallholding. I'm spending my days gardening, weeding, making order out of chaos. My arms tingle with nettle stings. I can't pretend everything runs smoothly. We're merging two households, and it's complicated. But compared to living in a town, this is utter bliss. Sunshine, grass, trees, freedom. It's beautiful, and we're home.
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Goldfrapp
  • Reading: Sweet Thursday - Steinbeck
  • Watching: Nimoy's Boston
  • Playing: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Eating: Pancakes
  • Drinking: Tea
Over the last year or so I've been reading through the 'BBC Books' list. Actually, there are two, the fallacious, 'the BBC thinks you will have only read six of these books' list (which was bastardised from the original), and the real list, which was just a top 100 voted for by the public. I actually like the fallacious one better, despite its oddities and repeated books. I'm never going to read all of these books. Some I just don't want to. But I get a bit addicted to completing lists, and this is my progress so far.

First the 'The BBC thinks you will have only read six of these books' list. Bolded are read, italics are partly read, underlined and starred are want to read.
  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

  6. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

  7. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

  8. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

  9. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

  10. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

  11. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

  12. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

  13. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

  14. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

  15. Middlemarch – George Eliot

  16. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

  17. Bleak House – Charles Dickens

  18. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

  19. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

  20. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

  21. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

  22. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

  23. Emma – Jane Austen

  24. Persuasion – Jane Austen

  25. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

  26. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

  27. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

  28. Animal Farm – George Orwell

  29. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  30. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

  31. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

  32. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

  33. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

  34. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

  35. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

  36. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

  37. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  38. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

  39. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

  40. On The Road – Jack Kerouac

  41. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

  42. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

  43. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

  44. Dracula – Bram Stoker

  45. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

  46. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

  47. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransom

  48. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

  49. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

  50. Charlotte’s Web – EB White

  51. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

  52. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

  53. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

  54. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

  55. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

  56. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

  57. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

  58. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

  59. The Bible

  60. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

  61. Complete Works of Shakespeare

  62. The Bean Trees – Barbara Kingsolver

  63. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

  64. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

  65. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

  66. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  67. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

  68. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

  69. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

  70. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

  71. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

  72. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

  73. Atonement – Ian McEwan

  74. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

  75. Dune – Frank Herbert

  76. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

  78. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

  79. The Secret History – Donna Tartt

  80. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold*

  81. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

  82. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

  83. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

  84. Ulysses – James Joyce

  85. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

  86. Germinal – Emile Zola

  87. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

  88. Possession – AS Byatt*

  89. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell*

  90. The Color Purple – Alice Walker (didn’t grab me)

  91. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert*

  92. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

  93. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

  94. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  95. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

  96. Watership Down – Richard Adams

  97. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

  98. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

  99. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

  100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


The real BBC books list

  1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

  3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

  4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling

  6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

  7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

  8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

  9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

  10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

  11. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

  12. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

  13. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

  14. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

  15. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

  16. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

  17. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

  18. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling

  19. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling

  20. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling

  21. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

  22. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

  23. Middlemarch, George Eliot

  24. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck

  25. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

  26. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

  27. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

  28. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

  29. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

  30. Persuasion, Jane Austen

  31. Emma, Jane Austen

  32. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery

  33. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

  34. Animal Farm, George Orwell

  35. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

  36. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

  37. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

  38. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

  39. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

  40. The BFG, Roald Dahl

  41. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome

  42. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

  43. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

  44. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

  45. Matilda, Roald Dahl

  46. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins

  47. Bleak House, Charles Dickens

  48. The Twits, Roald Dahl

  49. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith

  50. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

  51. On The Road, Jack Kerouac

  52. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez

  53. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

  54. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

  55. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

  56. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

  57. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

  58. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving

  59. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

  60. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett

  61. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

  62. Dune, Frank Herbert

  63. Watership Down, Richard Adams

  64. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

  65. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

  66. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian

  67. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

  68. The Stand, Stephen King

  69. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

  70. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer

  71. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  72. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman

  73. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden

  74. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough

  75. Mort, Terry Pratchett

  76. The Magus, John Fowles

  77. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

  78. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

  79. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding

  80. Perfume, Patrick Süskind#

  81. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell

  82. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

  83. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding

  84. The Secret History, Donna Tartt

  85. Ulysses, James Joyce

  86. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson

  87. Holes, Louis Sachar

  88. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake

  89. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson

  90. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

  91. Magician, Raymond E Feist

  92. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

  93. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

  94. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

  95. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

  96. Katherine, Anya Seton

  97. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer

  98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson

  99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot

  100. Catch-22, Joseph Heller


I'm getting there. This has been your boring journal update of the year. I'm not around here much any more. I'm sorry.
  • Mood: Love
  • Listening to: George Ezra
  • Reading: A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  • Watching: Star Trek/Mission: Impossible
  • Playing: Nothing
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Tea
It really has. I don't spend a lot of time on dA any more, and I regret that. I miss the community. I miss the contact. But still I don't spend much time on here. I don't take a lot of photos. I don't publish my writing on here because I want to save it for publication, but I don't seek publication either.

On the other hand, things are good. We've finally moved to our (like rescued cats) forever home. Four acres. Chickens, geese, cats, dog. We bought five little ducks the other day. I hope we'll get more animals as time goes on. I want to have goats again, maybe pigs. We've moved in with my parents, and it seems like just in time, because my dad's health has taken a downturn and we need to help run the smallholding. I'm spending my days gardening, weeding, making order out of chaos. My arms tingle with nettle stings. I can't pretend everything runs smoothly. We're merging two households, and it's complicated. But compared to living in a town, this is utter bliss. Sunshine, grass, trees, freedom. It's beautiful, and we're home.
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Goldfrapp
  • Reading: Sweet Thursday - Steinbeck
  • Watching: Nimoy's Boston
  • Playing: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Eating: Pancakes
  • Drinking: Tea

deviantID

Aconitum-Napellus

Artist | Professional | Literature
Antarctica
This is me. I am socially inept. I write. I used to read (before children). I can translate Anglo-Saxon. Sometimes I paint. And I take a lot of photos.

Print preference: Times New Roman
Favourite genre of music: Folk, acoustic, baroque, indie etc etc etc
Favourite photographer: anything in National Geographic
Favourite style of art: Again, there are so many...
Operating System: Heart, lungs, brain
MP3 player of choice: ipod
Shell of choice: Multicoloured snail
Wallpaper of choice: William Morris
Skin of choice: Vellum
Favourite cartoon character: Mutley
Personal Quote: "Never go hedging with a sledgehog" - Little Grey Rabbit's Christmas
Interests

AdCast - Ads from the Community

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:iconliyaperfidious:
liyaperfidious Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Happy birthday! I gave you a cute llama to cuddle with!
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner 7 hours ago  Professional Writer
Thank you so  much!!!
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:iconliyaperfidious:
liyaperfidious Featured By Owner 3 hours ago
You're welcome!
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:iconjasperinity:
Jasperinity Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Happy birthday! :D
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner 6 hours ago  Professional Writer
Thank you!!!
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:iconjasperinity:
Jasperinity Featured By Owner 1 hour ago
You're welcome! :3
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:iconbirthdays:
birthdays Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
:woohoo: :party: :iconcakelickplz: !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! :iconcakelickplz: :party: :woohoo:

It's August 19th which means it's that time of the year again and your special day is here! We hope you have an awesome day with lots of birthday fun, gifts, happiness and most definitely, lots of cake! Here's to another year!

:cake: Happy Birthday Godliek :D by elicoronel16 Lily Wishing a Happy Birthday by spring-sky Happy Birthday, whitemajic by AitamiIkimo Birthday Dummy by bdaydummyplz

:iconchampagneplz: Many well wishes and love from your friendly birthdays team :love: :iconchampagneplz:

Happy Birthday Banner 2 by Momma--G

---
Birthdays Team
This birthday greeting was brought to you by: LDFranklin
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Professional Writer
Thank you :D
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:iconhearsegurl:
HearseGurl Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Happy Birthday! :iconspinningcakeplz:
Love your Star Trek collection. :D
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner 6 hours ago  Professional Writer
Thank you!!!
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