Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wisdom #4 - Dear Lover


"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what the fuck do you think you're doing?"

"Nothing." He smiled deviously, the glass crunching beneath the heel of his boots.

Slowly he clambered onto the car's bonnet, then carefully undid his trousers, bending over and displaying his arse to the world before pushing it up against the remnants of the car's windshield.

"Fuck. You're not doing what I think you're doing, are you?" Tucker shouted, his voice strained with anxiety and panic.

"Of course I am." Wisdom smiled back. "Now shut your bloody gob. You're putting me off."

Tucker turned away, sniggering, hardly able to stop the nervous laughter breaking out into full-blown hysterics.

Sound rippled out and Tucker almost fell over laughing.

"Er, Tucker," Wisdom shouted. "Do you still have that copy of the Guardian?"

Tucker Swinburne laughed loudly and without turning to face his bare arsed colleague, passed the Guardian back.

"Cheers." Wisdom beamed. "Don't want to spend the rest of the day with an itchy arse."

"Oh God." Tucker laughed.

The glass crunched as Wisdom leapt down from the place his squatting position on the front of the car and stood proudly, defiantly in the centre of the car park.

"Look upon my works, ye mighty and despair." He proclaimed.

Tucker peered over the shattered windscreen and looked at the torn, leather upholstery of the previously brand new car.

"Oh Jesus." He whispered.

"Is it not a masterpiece?" Wisdom smiled.

Tucker turned to look at him.

"How can one man shit so much?" He asked.

Wisdom smiled and tapped the side of his head knowingly.

"Shredded Wheat. Got to have roughage, my dear boy."

Tucker bellowed out loud with laughter.

Wisdom smirked and lit a fresh cigarette.

"Come on, we're going to be late for Double Science. Wouldn't want to give the school a bad name, now would we?"

Tucker Swinburne smiled with admiration.

"Pete Wisdom, you are a great man. You'll go far."






Based on concepts and characters created by Warren Ellis

For Luba Kmetyk, who's been waiting very patiently for this


Romany Wisdom twirled the flower around her fingers, staring absently out of the window through her rose tinted sunglasses.

"Miss. Wisdom, would you kindly staring at whatever it is that drug idled brain has conjured up to distract you from my class and turn your attention back to the blackboard."

She looked up, slightly startled that someone had spoken her name.

"And get those ridiculous bloody sunglasses off of your head. Do I look like I'm running a holiday camp here?"

"Ah." Romany offered.

"Class please take note of Miss. Wisdom's astounding ability in the art of providing a counter argument. Her philosophical skills are not to be underestimated, we could all learn a lot from Romany here."

Romany felt her cheeks turning red as the class around her began to snigger with derision.

She turned away, wishing the ground would just swallow her up and then something outside caught her eye.

Smiling she turned her attention back to the front of the class.

"Mister Coupland, isn't that your new car outside?"

"Eh?" Mister Coupland moved quickly across the front of the class to the window Romany had previously been looking out of.

"Oh, Jesus Christ, no!" Coupland shrieked in terror. "That's my fucking car!"

Without further adieu he vanished out of the room, moving faster than any middle aged man should be able to.

She smiled and turned her attention to the cherry blossoms outside.

It was the beginning of a perfect day.


Joanna Travis smiled, her reflection looking back at her from the sole remaining mirror that had now been screwed into the centre of the wall in the girl's toilets.

She hitched her skirt up higher and added a few more rips to her tights. Around her shoulders was Pete Wisdom's jacket, battered and faded and adorned with safety pins and patches.

Carefully she applied more lipstick and undid another few buttons of her blouse.

The scrapping of fingernails digging into the rotten wood of the window seal echoed through the confined space of the toilet.

From outside came the sound of voices.

At first she couldn't hear what they said but slowly the words seemed to filter though.

"Give it here, you'll never get the bloody thing open like that."

It was Pete.

She stepped back, as far away from the window as she could. This routine was not new to her, she had already seen it done in half of the pubs and cinemas in London. The glass shattered as Wisdom put his fist through, small shards digging into his hand whilst others scattered on the ground beneath her.

Smiling, Wisdom stuck his head from the remnants of the window, an expertly rolled joint protruding from the corner of his mouth.

"You coming down the pub, love?" He smiled invitingly.

"Jesus Christ, you're in the shit now." Joanna hissed, leaning forwards conspiratorially. "Why'd you have to smash up the window, Pete? Coupland's looking, he's really pissed off about what you did to his car."

"News travels fast." Wisdom smiled.

"It didn't need to travel fast, Pete, half of the bloody school was looking out of the window when you did a dump in his new car. Didn't you think smashing the windscreen would have attracted some attention? Fucking hell, you're going to get expelled for this."

"So?" He shrugged. "What are they going to do? Send me to the workhouse?"

"You stupid bastard."

He looked up at her, all puppy dog eyes and her heart melted.

"Once in a while, I wish you'd let me stay angry at you for longer than five minutes." She sighed.

"So, you on for another Monday lunch time drinking session then?" He inquired.

"Half ten hardly constitutes lunch time." She corrected him. "But then what the fuck have I got to look forward to you? History with that wanker, Mister Henry - I think I'll pass."

"Good girl." Wisdom smiled. "Give us your hands."

She reached out and placed her hands on his shoulders as he gently lifted her out through the shattered window.

He wavered for a moment and then the both of them fell down in a crumpled heap on the grass at Tucker's feet.

"Christ, is that all you two think about?" She sneered.

"Morning, Tucker." Joanna smiled, looking up and brushing her sandy blonde hair from her eyes.

"Peter fucking Wisdom, I want a fucking word with you!" A voice bellowed from the science block at the end of the field.

"Oh shit, its Coupland." Joanna murmured.

"To the Batmobile!" Wisdom shouted, pulling her to her feet.

Coupland broke into a steady run towards them as the three errant students darted from the scene of yet another hit and run incident involving a brick and school property.

Together they vanished behind the bike-sheds.

Joanna and Pete clambered onto his BMX as Tucker followed suit, nearly falling arse over tit onto the ground.

"Hi-ho, bloody Sliver!" Wisdom cried and the three of them careened off over the gravel paths and twisting bends and down past the swimming pool to the wide open school gates and all that lay in wait for them in the heart of London.

Coupland arrived a moment too late, panting and waving his fist.

"You little wanker, I'll bloody kill you. I'LL BLOODY KILL YOU!" The headmaster screeched after them but by then they way too far away to hear.


It took a good few hours to get into London proper.

They changed their clothes in a public toilet; Wisdom and Joanna crammed into one and Tucker in another.

As Tucker Swinburne stuffed his school shirt and trousers into his bag he heard slow moaning sounds coming from the cubicle next door.

Looking down at the gap between the cubicles, he saw four legs, a pair of torn school trousers and pants around two of the legs and hastily ripped tights and a shirt around the other two.

"Jesus Christ." Tucker muttered beneath his breath as he unlocked the cubicle.

As he reached for the main toilet door and pulled it open he heard Wisdom shout:

"Be with you in five minutes, Tucker!"

Stepping outside into the crammed, busy streets, Tucker tried to pretend he hadn't heard.


The Green Man was relatively empty, much as they had expected, what with it being Monday lunchtime and all.

They ordered two pints of larger and a double Jack Daniel's and coke and then took the seats nearest the toilets.

A pack of salted peanuts and a half full ashtray awaited them at the table and Tucker took to munching on the peanuts, long since past their sell by date, as Wisdom and Joanna lit each other's cigarettes.

"Have you ever thought," Tucker asked, between mouthfuls of peanuts. "That we might be the most important people in the world?"

"I have absolutely no doubts about it, Tucker, old mate." Wisdom said, turning his attention away from Joanna. "We've lead a fucking charmed life, we have. That poof, Dorian Grey would have been proud of us."

"We're bound to fall on our collective arse sooner or later though, aren't we?" Joanna said with trepidation. "I mean nothing this good can last for ever."

"What do you mean?" Wisdom asked.

She sighed and inhaled deeply.

"Well, I mean we've got away with it for so long and up till now its been a piece of piss, hasn't it? But we keep pushing the envelope don't we? We keep seeing how far we can go. It's only a matter of time before we're caught really. What about all this business with old Coupland's car, for example. You can't really believe you're going to get away with that one."

"Of course we will," Tucker replied, finding it hard to be indignant with a mouthful of peanuts. "We always do. Like Pete says, fucking charmed life."

Pete shuffled uncomfortably on his seat, his back rubbing up against the leather upholstery.

"I think what Joanna here means is that one day someone's going to fuck us up as badly as we're fucking them up right now. And we that day comes we're not going to stand a chance in Hell of being able to fight back. They'll have us by the proverbial knackers."

"Nothing proverbial about my knackers." Tucker replied.

A dull, life-threatening silence filled the room.

"Fuck this." Wisdom murmured. "I'm fucking bored. I'm going to take a piss."

"Okay." Joanna smiled. "See you in a minute."

"Christ in Heaven help me." Tucker cursed. "You mean I'm going to have to pay for this lot whilst you two have a quick fuck in the bogs?"

Wisdom looked him in the eye.

"No, Tucker, I think you're missing the point a little. About two minutes after Joanna, you're going to decide you need a piss an' all."

"But I don't." He protested.

"Oh, don't be so fucking stupid. 'Course you do."

Tucker thought about for a moment.

"No, I don't." He said, looking up, confused.

"Yes you do." Wisdom hissed. "You need a piss. Drip, drip, drip, drip."

"Oh Christ, now you've said that, I need a piss." Tucker said standing up. "Get out of the way."

Pete pushed him back down.

"You stupid fucker. Two minutes after I'm gone, then you go, alright?"

"Oh, alright." Tucker said, still looking confused.

He downed the rest of his pint and headed off in the direction of the toilet.


Two minutes passed and Joanna and Pete stood outside, the shattered remains of the toilet window staring back at them from across the street.

"What's taking him so long?" Pete hissed, pacing up and down.

"I can see him!" Joanna called.

"What's he doing?" Pete asked, interrupting his pacing so as to join her.

"I can't see...oh, wait a minute..." She started to giggle. "The stupid bastard's taking a piss!"

"WHAT?" Wisdom shouted, leaning in closer. "The fucking broken window's right in front of him as well! Stupid, fucking bastard! TUCKER!"

From their vantage-point they saw the toilet door fling open and the angry shape of the landlord, brandishing a rather menacing looking wooden stick fill the empty doorway.

"Oh fuck, it's the landlord. He's sussed out game. Shit." Pete cursed.

The landlord set upon Tucker knocking him down and beating him with the stick inbetween curses some known, others entirely new.

"What are we going to do?" Joanna screamed.

"Hang on a minute, love." Wisdom said as he dashed across the street.


He ducked down beneath the window, the rhythmic sound of Tucker's whimpering and the landlord's cursing filling his ears.

Silently Wisdom cursed Tucker and all his family, groping about in the dirt for something he could use as a weapon.

His hands brushed against something sharp and jagged. Bellowing, he leapt up and throwing the shattered window frame.

The landlord looked up from where Tucker lay, his dick hanging out all flaccid and still pissing over the tiles of the bathroom floor not to mention Tucker's tartan trousers which hung round his ankles, as Wisdom launched throwing the air, screaming at the top of his lungs and brandishing his makeshift weapon.

With all his might, Wisdom punched the jagged weapon into the landlord's stomach.

The barkeep's eyes grew large and he grunted, staggering backwards, the wooden stick rolling from his fingers.

He gasped one last time and then pitched over backwards, his head slamming into the urinals.

It was only then that Wisdom realised what he had done.

Protruding from the landlord's stomach was a sharp and very jagged shard of glass.

He looked down at his own hands, they were torn and bloodied.

"Oh, fuck." He cursed.

He stood there for a moment, him, the dead landlord, his battered friend and the piss slowly lapping at his boots before finally reaching down and gathering Tucker up in his arms, dragging him over his shoulders and clambering out the window and across the road.

Cars beeped loudly but he now longer heard them.

All he could think of was the corpse he had left behind them.


Sitting in the darkened alleyway, Wisdom hugged his legs, sobbing gently to himself as Joanna tended to Tucker's wounds as best she could.

"I told you," She whispered through her own tears. "I told you this would happen." She turned to look at him. "What were you thinking, you stupid bastard? How are you going to walk away from this one, Pete?"

"I...I didn't think..." He whispered.

"Well, that much is fucking obvious!" She shouted back. "We're going to have to get Tucker to a hospital, I can't fucking patch him up anymore, this isn't like stealing a fucking car, you bloody killed someone!"

"I know..." Pete whispered.

But in truth he did not know.

He remembered the barkeep's sullied corpse and he felt genuinely sorry but not for the man that had once pulled pints behind the Green Man's bar. He felt sorry for himself because he didn't know what would happen to him once they were caught.

"We can't go to a hospital. The pigs will be on the lookout there." He answered.

"Fuck you, Pete, Tucker will fucking die if we don't get him to a hospital!"

He looked her sternly in the eye and all the emotion seemed to drain out of him.

"I don't care." He answered. "He got us in this bloody mess in the first place."

"You heartless fucking cunt!" She wailed, slamming her fists into his arms and shoulders. "You fucking bastard!"

He made no attempt to defend himself; he took the blows and never once flinched.

In his heart he felt absolutely nothing.

Not even the imminent death of his best friend could touch him now.

In his guts, he knew something was changing.

"Oi. You lot down there. Stay where you are." A voice called.

Joanna turned, startled, her eyes full of surprise and red with tears.

Pete continued to stare blankly ahead.

A Bobby was walking towards them; North London accent watered down by too much time away from what it was really like on the streets of the city.

"What the bleeding hell's going..." He asked then he saw Tucker's bleeding body lying motionless on the dirty floor. "Bloody hell."

Something began to well inside of Wisdom; he felt it like it was the beginning of a storm or the start of a migraine.

The copper stepped back a moment and then froze as he looked at Wisdom.

Pete smiled, standing up and looking like a rag doll in his bondage trousers and Clash T-shirt.

"Listen, son, stay where you are." The bacon warned.

It was all air, words composed of little substance.

He didn't know why but he felt his arms moving to they were pointing directly at the Bobby.

"Don't do anything rash."

"What are you doing, Pete?" Joanna asked, eyes wide now with fear instead of sorrow.

The pain started in his stomach and in the back of his head.

"We can talk about this..."

"Pete, for God's sake, don't be stupid."

It tingled through his entire body, awakening every sense.

"No one has to be hurt, son."

"Pete, listen to him!"

And encompassed his all. He was the storm and in his path lay all the distractions an unsuccessful, Royalist fixated society offered.

And he hated them all.

"Pete, is that, your name, son? Listen to me, just back away and we'll talk about."


It erupted. His entire body went into spasmed and he was sure he either shat his pants or ejaculated, one of the two.

His fingers began burning so hot that he wanted to cut his own hands off to stop the pain.

And then the sound came, the kind of sound you hear when you first enter a woman's most secret places, the sound of flesh piercing flesh.

His head snapped up and he half focused on the bacon.

Fingers burning with heat had punctured the Bobby's head and blood and brain tissue were leaking out both the front and the back.

The Bobby squealed once time and then both of them collapsed, both equally spent, one still breathing, just about, the other losing the contents of his head to the dirty streets of his native city.

In the distance, Wisdom could still hear Joanna's rabid screams and sobs and strangely enough her words from earlier returned to him:

"We've got away with it for so long and up till now its been a piece of piss, hasn't it? But we keep pushing the envelope don't we? We keep seeing how far we can go. It's only a matter of time before we're caught really."

Then came the ache of dull, nothingness.

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