Prologue

I awoke at approximately 5:45 in the morning with some difficulty. I'd had restless nights before but for some reason this one appeared to be more restless than all the others, perhaps because I had drunk about three cups of coffee before I went to bed and any time I drink coffee I get the jitters which as a result, prevents me from sleeping. It isn't just if I drink coffee before bed it's really any time of the day. I suppose I should just lay off coffee but I've been told that it's an addiction although I don't like to buy into any of that bull. I just love coffee. The taste of it in your mouth, the amazing aroma that kidnaps your nose in the morning. It is truly one of life's little sensations. The only thing I don't like about coffee is that I always have to wait to savour it. I don't know anyone who can pour coffee at just the right temperature and nor does anyone think I can either, I've also been told. The thing is, even though I hadn't slept all night I was still going to have some coffee this morning because I need it to wake up and a cup of caffeine will probably just lead to another sleepless night but I'm used to that at this time in my life so I guess I can just forget about it and start enjoying even though I know I will never enjoy it like most people do.

I suppose the thing I miss the most about not sleeping is the dreams. You cannot dream without sleep, at least, I'm not aware of any other way although there is this one kid, Harry Denton, who once told me that if I go into a forest and look for funny coloured mushrooms and then proceed to harvest them, eventually consuming them then I would apparently dream whilst being fully aware of my sorroundings. I told him that he needed a haircut but I'm still curious so I may try it some day even though I know that sleeping when you are awake could never be as fulfilling as dreaming when you aren't because you won't have the reassurance that you will wake up if it develops into a nightmare. I miss dreams because I believe they open your mind to great ideas, they fill the mind with an extravagant sense of surrealism and they can be a delightful topic to share with acquaintances throughout the day if you are lucky enough to remember one, which I used to all the time although not lately because I haven't been sleeping – due to guzzling coffee like a vacuum cleaner and also because my mattress is lumpy. My mattress is extremely uncomfortable and I suppose even if I did get a dose of good sleep for one night, my back would pay for it the next day. I suppose that is just one of god's little ways, assuming there is one. Sleep a few hours but have a posture like the Hunchback of Notre Dame the rest of your life. And to be honest, that doesn't seem like a fair trade so I guess I am happy enough with sleepless nights.

Anyway I decided to get up. It was a big day, at least everyone kept telling me it was a big day but I just don't know why. It's just a new school year, it will be the same as last year, and the year before, and the year before that... you get the picture, it's all petty monotonous, at least I think it is but apparently no one else does and don't ask me why because I am absolutely lost on that one. It's not like I hate school, I excel thoroughly at it, but not because I want to, simply because I have too. It is just one of those things everyone has to do at least once in their life for a certain duration of time and because of that very reason I make it my mission to at least get something out of it.

I hopped of my bed which was situated quite high up in the air compared to the average bed. It didn't have a backboard and was just against the wall which I suppose is quite unorthodox but I never looked at it as a big problem because a backboard is just like a wall only somewhat smaller and your pillows just don't fit as well against them in contrast to a wall (depending on how big your pillow is – mines is quite big, cost my parents twenty quid at Ikea and it is dressed in a blue pillowcase with no designs). I walked over towards my light switch in complete darkness – well, obviously not complete darkness, otherwise I wouldn't be able to find the light switch because there would be no light to reflect off of it and project into my eyes but none the less it was still pretty dark and I struggled a little bit to hit the switch even though I managed eventually. I was suddenly struck with an extreme flash of light that almost blinded me in my sleepy state. The light was quite dull due to me having an environmentally friendly bulb that was cased inside a Chinese lantern. My eyes grew accustomed to the room and I went over to my desk on which sat; my television (quite small, only 22 inches but considering the size of my room it is quite complimentary), a set of cheap speakers which done the job, a pile of new school equipment (pens, pads etc.), my laptop (a pretty cheap acer I was happy enough with, I suppose I was just glad that it wasn't a Toshiba.) and finally a few books I had set aside for personal enjoyment. The walls in my room were smothered in a random assortment of posters, crudely stuck to the wall with swabs of blue tack that were quite clearly too big and I should have used smaller pieces because smaller pieces would have made less of a mark on my white painted walls. Quite a few of my posters had a habit of going doggy eared at the corners due to the blue tack being old and this made me extremely irate because I was constantly having to reattach them to the wall. I fell down to my knees and reached for the power switch under the desk, switching it on, powering everything that was plugged in to the extension lead on, but then I turned it off again, realising I was only going to use the television. I then proceeded to unplug every cord apart from my televisions and then toggled the power source back on again, this time only powering the TV.

The TV switched on and I got up and then fell into my desk chair, which was quite comfortable as swivel chairs go. It cost my parents fifty quid (they purchased it on the same trip they bought my pillow that sat on my bed). I grabbed the remote from a drawer that slid out quite stiffly from my desk and then I switched the television to the morning news and what I saw startled me but I guess It was coming eventually. A headline flashed across the bottom of the screen beneath two sad looking anchormen (one female, one male) The headline simply read: HUGE NEW VIRUS SPREADING ACROSS THE UK, TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS, THOUSANDS ALREADY DEAD, A CURE IS TRYING TO BE WORKED OUT BY THE NATIONS' TOP SCIENTISTS.

I didn't know what to think for a minute. This is what the world deserves, I suppose. We as a society are constantly trying to progress, experimenting with diseases, desperately trying to cure viruses, always trying to reach the coveted goal of manufactured immortality. Then I thought that it would most likely just blow over, after all, swine flu was just here for a while and then it buggered off somewhere. I thought that it was probably just another epidemic blown way out of proportion by the maggots of the media but then I thought about the worst case scenario. What if it spreads throughout the whole country and everyone gets it? Even me. We would all die and the country would go into mass hysteria. I could just imagine the peril in a mother's eyes as she has to kill her own daughter simply because she might be a danger to her. The gruelling process of looking her in the eyes and telling her that you love her with all of your heart, telling her that there simply isn't any other way and that it isn't her fault. The split second when the shotgun blasts and her once innocent face is scattered all over your cashmere couch. The horrific task of picking up the pieces of your daughters body and burying it in the backyard somewhere, next to her favourite gerbil that died a year earlier due to the child hugging it just a little bit too hard. The regret that swims through your head causing you to blow your own head off several hours later because you can't cope any more and no one will mourn your loss because they are all too busy going through the same indiscretions in their own lives.

I thought about death for a moment and asked myself whether I was ready to face it. Was I really prepared to go? I was unsure and so I decided to ditch the whole idea and I switched the channel to some early morning cartoon that, after 10 minutes of viewing, I learned that it was apparently not OK to fart in public but rather only in the comfort of your own home and also that it is OK to share and love with someone who has farted in public (I disagreed). I decided that I have had enough involuntary education for one morning (until I got to school anyway), and so I decided that it was time to go and get dressed for school. My school uniform consisted off a pair of black trousers and black shoes (mines were polished to near perfection, I debated the day before whether they actually were perfect but then came to the pessimistic conclusion that nothing in this world we have created could possibly be perfect and so they are merely only near perfect), a white shirt, a navy jumper with blue stripes and a blue, green and navy tie. I didn't particularly like to wear a uniform, I felt too restricted. Sometimes I had these little panic attacks which I blamed on the uniform, not on my social ineptitude that everyone else said was the reason. The panic attacks happened often I supposed. I just don't cope well in normal situations. I'll give you an example. Most people would be able to look someone in the eyes when they are talking with them, but me? I look everywhere, I choose a point behind the person or just stare at the ground and If I do manage to look them in the eyes (very rarely) well then it just seems like I am staring straight into their souls trying to rip their spirit out and believe me, people don't like you looking at them like you want to gouge out their eyes from the sockets in which they are contained and play golf with them whilst using one of their legs, preferably the right, as a putter. At least not in my experience anyway. One kid, Gary Hutchinson who in my opinion, deserves to be put to death for reasons I prefer not to discuss, actually punched my nose because He thought I was coming on to him. The blood spurted like a sprinkler that day but I told him not to flatter himself and he just punched me again and this stopped the original blood but a new found blood mixed with snot leaked from my aching facial wound and I thought that I probably wouldn't have got punched twice if I just pretended to be a homosexual for a few seconds. That would have satisfied him.

I got up of off my chair and headed towards the door in my underpants, opening it and heading on to my stair landing. There were three bedrooms in my house (including mine), so the landing was quite narrow and it was fenced with a white painted banister than had flakes off corroded paint scraping off it making it look rather dingy. I headed towards the bathroom which was also on the 1st floor, right next to the three average sized bedrooms (which was handy when I needed to take a leak at night), and entered. I reached for the light switch, which was a pulley and I pulled it, too hard, in my opinion but alas I did not break it, much to my delight. To my right there was a little, hideously coloured green bath that was littered with scum around the edges, woodlice trying to crawl their way up it, next to a plughole that was filled with hairs although not clogged because the water still ran down it OK but it was probably only a matter of time before it actually did get clogged up and I was dreading the moment. At the end of the bath was a tall sink with a very similar description only the plughole of this was pretty clean, much to my surprise. Above the sink was a long vertical ledge coming from the wall which held a lot of hygiene products and a few old toothbrushes that needed replacing as the bristles were all worn down and there were bits of dried toothpaste that we impossible to scrub off. Facing the bath, on the wall to the left off it was a mirror hanging from an old rusty nail and it was cracked in the top left corner a little bit but I suppose it worked well enough as I could see myself. And what I saw I suppose I was happy enough with. I had long, thick hair, down to my waist that was of a brownish blonde colour and most people deemed it to be quite abnormal for a male but I felt comfortable with it, very bright blue eyes ( I would have preferred green but I decided long ago that it was nothing to worry about although I still do worry about it quite a lot.) I preceded to examine my face in the mirror and I couldn't help but wonder how my skin was so horrifically bad. Well, that's an exaggeration but it isn't perfect even though I make a habit of cleaning my pillow cases 3 times a week, sleeping on my back, having a strict hygiene regime and generally being moderately healthy. I detested the fact that no matter how hard I tried it didn't really matter in the end because sooner or later we are all going to die.

Anyway, in the other corner of the bathroom was quite an old toilet that had a few flies hovering around them, most likely trying to savour the stench of a bowel movement someone had the night before. Maybe it was my excretion they were ecstatic over and I didn't understand why. I know they are flies but I couldn't even think of sniffing their excretion even for a second. In a moment of weakness I thought about it and then an unwelcome shiver ran down my spine faster than that black runner I saw in the Olympics and he was the fastest runner I had ever seen so you can imagine how fast this shiver was taking me but then it was gone perhaps even faster. The toilet seat of my morning throne was clean but the toilet bowl was a completely different story. It was stained quite heavily. My toilet had racing stripes of a disgusting variety but thought to myself that I would clean them when I get the time, or my mother would, or my father would, but my sisters would definitely not because they were the laziest sons of a guns I ever saw and I loathed them for that very reason even though they were my sisters so I almost had to like them to a certain degree.

There was a bug spray sitting on the tiled floor called 'Bug Zapper.' I couldn't help but think that even I could have came up with a better product name and that I had infinitely more intelligent than the creator of this 'Bug Zapper.' I even came up with a jingled in my head that would be in the commercial.

When you have a bug on your rug that just won't budge

then call this number and ask for Doug,

if he is not in then tough luck

because you are basically ….

I decided that my product would be called Doug's Bug Zapper because I couldn't think of anything more spectacular or anything that rhymes with Doug or Bug. After settling on that unsatisfactory name, even though it was still better than bug zapper because it had my name in it, I continued to commit genocide on this little tribe of flies that were homing around my toilet like Japanese Bombers until they all fell into the toilet, some stragglers landing on the seat. I then gathered some tissue roll from the little holster wherein it sat and then wiped their teeny tiny corpses into the bowl, to be flushed with their broken comrades but not before I took my morning dump.