THE PARTY

 

21 THE PARTY

It really was a miserable party, it really was.

Young Hilary Stoppard and his pretentious young set contemplated the splenetic corners of art’s responsibilities within a splintered decaying cosmos.

Under an ageing Soviet philosopher’s smoke exhalation they gathered in an umbilical circle to soak in each of his puritanical philosophisings:

‘Believe in the rhythmic order of your heartbeat and trust no creation younger than your least favourite aunt or neighbourhood spinster.’

Hilary’s girlfriend, Bunti, corrected her spine with a long natural breath and a complex re-interpretation of Alexander technique. Sigmund, who suffers from total-allergy syndrome, adjusted the valve feeding oxygen into his astronaut suit and wondered if air was in itself a poison more potent than Velcro.

The deflated clown behind the punishing philosopher wore a look of utter defeat, his soul carrying the angst of the world in its tiny blue sac.

Hilary Stoppard looked out into the everywhere and imagined himself more than himself but less than an atom.

It really was a miserable party, it really was.

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About dogsbodiesandscumsters

Alan McCormick has been writer in residence at Kingston University’s Writing School and for InterAct Stroke Support, a charity employing actors to read to stroke patients. His fiction has won prizes and been widely published, including the Sunday Express and Salt’s Best British Short Stories 2015. His story collection, with micro-fiction inspired by Jonny Voss's pictures, 'Dogsbodies and Scumsters', was long-listed for the 2012 Edge Hill Prize. Alan has recently completed his second collection, Wild in the Country, as well as a memoir, Holes. See more of Alan and Jonny's collaborations at www.scumsters.blogspot.co.uk.
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