TKnC welcomes Ian...
To wake up without fear, that's one hell of a thing. I mean, no fear at all. Nothing.
And that after one fucker of a year.
Started last April when me dog got run over by some prick in a white van. Loved that dog, I did. Trixie. Border collie. Had her since I was twelve.
Tracked the bastard down, though. The geezer in the white van.
I know where he lives.
And then there was Lucy, our little girl. Gorgeous, she was. My little angel. Five years old. Leukaemia.
Doctor said she'd be okay. Pull through, you know. Watery blue eyes, she had. Like she knew.
Doctor Gareth Williams. 46 Tennyson Close. That was him.
Wife left me two days after the funeral. Said she couldn't cope. Moved in with her mum. Her bitch of a mum. Never liked me, she never. And the old man, what a cunt he is. Thinks he knows everything, he does. But he knows fuck all. About me. About my life. About what it's like livin without the only things what was ever able to get right inside you and make you feel something.
Thompson and Sons. Doormakers. Was there since I left school. They reckoned I should see a psychiatrist, get counselling, or something. After everything, you know. I said I'd be all right, just take a bit of time.
That's when the burnin started, sittin in that office, listenin to all that shit. Got worse at night, the burnin. Got so when I closed me eyes I had to grit me teeth so hard I thought they were gonna break. All that just to hold it in. That burnin. I'd wake up with me eyes all wet and tears all over me pillow.
But that stopped. After a while. The tears, I mean.
They got rid of me anyway. There since I was a nipper, and they got rid of me. Just like that.
The bank threw me out the house. The bank on the high street, next to the post office. Couldn't pay the mortgage, see. Ended up in this little bedsit where I am now. It's a shithole. But it does.
And the burnin, that burnin what I was talkin about, one night, it just went cold. Stopped. And I woke up in the mornin light as a fuckin feather. I've started smilin again. But it ain't like a happy smilin or nothing, it's more like I'm smilin cos I know what I gotta do. I got a purpose. Something to live for.
It's been two days since. It's took me that long to get all me bits together.
The paraffin. The ropes. The knives. Me list of names and addresses.
My name is Terry Jenkins. I am twenty-four years old. And for the first time in my life, I am free.
Ian has had a dozen short stories published online and in print, in such publications as Byker Books 'Radgepacket' series, The Flash Fiction Offensive and Pulp Metal Magazine. He lives in London with his wife and three children, and has just completed his first novel.