Former beauty queen. Crowned KINGSGATE Queen in #### .
Defect showed signs of liver failure, glaucoma and cell death in the heart and lungs due to a prolonged addiction to heroin.
Whilst vital organs were of little use for transplantation, Cerebral tissue was taken for further studies at FILTON University Medical School (my own alma mater) as well as gastrocnemius muscle tissue. Details of the transaction are enclosed within.
A costly upkeep. Defect 2802 has become more problematic than useful. Her future will be discussed at the next meeting of the HARBOUR HOUSE Board. Given her familial connections discretion in her care is of the utmost importance.
Signed: Dr G. Winslow
The Harbour House rehab facility is the brain child of the eminent Dr Winslow. When a notice from the High Court asks him to open it’s doors transparency may be a little problematic.
Never had grey looked so vibrant. Light and dark battled for centre stage as greyish faces watched the artist from the shelving. Some were finely carved, almost human. Most were still waiting for their features. They had survived the abortion of the carver’s knife.
The artist looked at the shelf above him. Another clay face smiled back knowingly.
“You will just continue to fall downhill.”
The words WASHED UP were carved across it. The shame of this realisation was deeply embedded. The artist ignored it at first. He lifted the carving knife and reached for the clay in front of him, unborn, formless. He wet his hands in the bowl. The cool water did nothing to relieve his intoxicated mind. He reached out and caressed the clay carefully, searching for the curvatures.
“You are nothing.”
Three identical masks observed him, perched high. Each of them bore the word DOUBT. The artist leaned back on his stool but his drug-addled mind was too far-gone to keep his balance. He leaned back too far and as he jerked forward he knocked the water bowl over and cut his finger on the scalpel he used to carve details into his creations.
“Fuck!” he exclaimed as the vibrant red began to gush from the wound, spilling onto the grey. His vision was blurry. He didn’t normally feel this way after a hit. Joe must have gotten purer than usual.
At age twelve the artist had turned to smoke. The calming effects saw him through pre-pubescence. It calmed the storm of his teen years. He tried powder and pills along the way but when he reached his twenties only needles would do. He had come off them for a while as his career as an artist took off. He had it all then but the high of life shook him, gave him unrealistic expectations, sucked him dry then left him with nothing but the needles for comfort. His friends encouraged him but no matter what he did, his work could never reach those heights again.
The needles didn’t think he was washed up. They were always there to make him feel better. They even numbed the pain as he put a deeper cut in his hand as he tried to grasp the scalpel again.
“A pathetic excuse for a human being.”
The artist looked at a clay face that lay discarded on the bench. The word FRAUD was embedded into it.
The artist swung his legs round but it threw off his balance again. This time he tumbled to the floor. He looked up towards the window. A figurine of a slim woman was hanging by it’s feet.
“He’s just a little down on his luck.”
The figurine spun around on the wire that held her captive. Her face was flat. It had no features yet. Only her buttocks had any detail. The words HAS BEEN were written into her.
“Fuck off the lot of you!” the artist cried, climbing to his feet. “What do you know about it?”
He swung his arms in a meaningless gesture but it caused him to fall into his bench. The corner caught his hip painfully.
A hand fell on him. He shrieked. The clay digits clasped his shoulder.
“You had it all. It’s gone now. You are nothing. You had no real talent.”
The artist cried out. Hooks, shelves, walls, more clay faces and figurines watching him, accusing him. Whatever he did have it was gone. His artistic vision was gone and all the needles in the world would never numb that kind of pain.
The faces closed in.
“A talentless junkie that got lucky!”
The artist hated that he had become a tortured cliché. He hated even more that everything he turned his hand to lately fell flat. It wasn’t inspired. It wasn’t bold. He struggled to get even those closest to him to give a second look. He was an artist cliché without the talent. He thought he was giving birth to kings and queens whose reign would be spoken of for centuries. Instead he held still born after still born. So he hung them, scraped away at their skins and occasionally, when provoked, he smashed them to pieces. Paintings, carvings, models, all deserved incineration. Burn them all. Never let those failed experiments see the light of day. They would tell everyone how uninspired their creator was.
The artist turned on his stool. Dizziness overcame him. A large male figure was looking down on him from the shelf. He had no legs and was leaning on muscular arms. The muscles in the arms and abdomen were painstakingly clear and well-defined. As strong as the figure looked, he would never have those legs. Below his waist would remain as absent as the creator’s mind.
“Why bother even trying?”
The question startled the artist. He stood up again and kicked the stool over. The eyes of the legless figure had more life in them than the artist’s own. The last time he dared look in a mirror his face was vacant. He looked dead. He might as well be. The dark roots were showing through greasy, bleached hair. His lips were grey.
“Leave me alone!” he warned them.
He stumbled out of the workshop, falling to his knees on the sodden grass as he missed the last step. He looked back up. The statues would always be there. They would always mock him for the ridiculousness of their existence. David Finn’s career as an artist was all but over.
ADDICT; JUNKIE; LOSER; HAS BEEN.
David’s work speaks for itself. When he meets a new Muse the words change their tone.
When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.
David didn’t have an easy childhood. Coming from the poorest part of the city, an abusive mother and facing a childhood trauma he would never get over gave him a difficult journey into adulthood. The odds were stacked against him but with the help of his friends and a steely determination David defied those odds to become one of Coldford’s most promising young talents.
One thing that could never be taken from his was his natural artistic ability. to cope with his past he lost himself in his vision. His reputation spread but his focus became lost. The art was still speaking to him but the words started to echo the negativity he was trying to bury. The words were lies he had tried to ignore but it was no use.
Like so many fallen before him drugs – heroin or needles as they are known on the streets of the Shady City – brought him relief when the art couldn’t. When the thrill of being at the top faded the needles were always there to distract.
David is the product of his rough neck upbringing but wrapped in a hardened outer shell is a genuinely sweet disposition. He has a fondness for helping others but lacks the execution. In short he tries hard but without the right support he is destined to fail.
David finds his vision again with the help of a coy, farm girl. With his new MUSE he is making shades in the city again.
When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.
#amreading @VivikaWidow and I’m ready for rehab! #harbourhouse2020 😏
You lose a bit of yourself stepping over the city line.
But those demon tongues will make you feel fine.
She comes in the form of a beautiful woman.
She will take all you have, leave you less than human.
She is the Shady City and she has a hunger for flesh.
Once she is finished she will come back for the rest.
David Finn was once described as a Coldford’s most promising young talent. An addiction and a self destructive nature caused a very public fall. He knows better than most how the City can eat you up. In order to reach those lofty heights again he’ll have to leave behind his negativity with the help of coy farm girl, JULIA HARVESTER. His latest MUSE.
It doesn’t have to be this way with such beauty around.
But it takes a sacrifice to see the colours so profound.
Carrying negativity can be such a heavy load.
Leave it behind. It is support you are owed.
As you move on from this place to THAT,
and you take with you the emotions you tried to combat,
Remember it is your presence that continues to live on.
The art and joy you created will never be gone.
In Loving Memory of D Laigo.
David Finn was once described as a Coldford’s most promising young talent. An addiction and a self destructive nature caused a very public fall. In order to reach those lofty heights again he’ll have to leave behind his negativity with the help of coy farm girl, JULIA HARVESTER. His latest MUSE.
Coldford Veterinary clinic was the busiest new recruit Alex Ferrald had ever known it. Fresh out of Vet School Alex found himself thrown in the deep end. He had just sent Mrs Rowsely home with her boxer dog in a fresh cast. The appropriately named Fussy just couldn’t stay out of oncoming traffic. Luckily it had been a bike that had hit him this time and not a car. “You really should keep him on a leash,” Alex warned her. As he leaned over to check the cast Fussy licked him. He could feel Mrs Rowsely’s stare so he kept his head down. When she was gone Alex gave a sigh of relief and dropped himself into the plastic clinic room chair. He looked at the clock. Appointments had been cleared for the next couple of hours but just as he began to contemplate the tuna fish sandwich he had packed into his bag the vet nurse Kayleigh opened the door. “We’ve got an emergency, Mr Ferrald. All the other vets are busy. Can you take it?” The girl in his room made him bashful – more reluctant than under the glare of Mrs Rowsely. “The name?” “Penn,” she explained. “Penn? As in the PENN AUCTION HOUSE? Is it Rita?” He asked. The family were well known. Rita being the mother and her triplet sons being the main rulers of City Main. “Reggie,” Kayleigh confirmed. “One of the triplets.” “I … errr … “ stammered Alex. “What’s the animal?” “Rats. Two of them. He’s already filled in the paperwork. “You better send them in then,” Alex resolved taking a deep breath. “I’ll have a look.” Just as Kayleigh cleared the entrance her petite frame and braces, laced smile was replaced by a much larger, looming presence with a mop of blonde hair, dressed all in black. The Penn triplets had a reputation. Most people in the Shady City knew them. Violent, wild, respected. Their reputation had been passed down from their father – Reginald – the so called King of City Main. So when Reggie pushed a carrier holding two fat rats into Alex’s arms the mild mannered vet was taken aback. “Can you help them doctor?” He asked. “Some low life fucker has given them poison.” Alex was thinking vets aren’t generally titled doctor but who was he to correct one of the triplets? He opened the carry case. One was darker than the other. One was still on it’s feet, sniffing the air. The other lay down breathing harshly. Both were clean. “Are they pets?” REGGIE frowned. “What else would they be?” Alex focused on the sicker of the two rodents. “I just mean … erm … where would they have come into contact with poison? Do you know what kind of poison it was?” “Some fucking scumbag playing silly beggars. I keep them at the warehouse normally. It was broken into. They only got as far as those two. Sick fuck …” Alex handled the sick rat softly. He turned it in his freshly gloved hands. “Do you have some time to wait? I’ll put them on an IV and I can give them a transfusion and see how it goes.” Reggie was smiling but to the rat rather than the vet. He looked up and when he noticed Alex was watching him he confirmed. “That one’s name is Smash.” “After the lonesome nights character?” Alex responded without thinking. Lonesome Nights was an online video game his artist friend, David Finn, had introduced him to. It involved hunting prostitutes and stealing cars. Whilst Alex found the idea of theft and prostitution distasteful there was something quite therapeutic about wandering aimlessly around the virtual city. The latest release from Coby Games had made it look a lot like Coldford. “You play?” Reggie asked as he anxiously watched Alex take blood from Smash and lay him gently in a cage. “A little,” Alex replied as he opened the carrier for the second rodent. The second rat still had the energy to run and made a break for it the moment the door was opened. SLAM! Reggie’s palm clashed on the table catching the rat by the tail. He pulled it back and clutched it by the body. “This one is Jacket. You see how his fur is a little darker around the top of his body? It looks like he’s wearing a jacket. I never used to name them. It was easier when they didn’t have names.” “Uh Huh,” Alex replied, unsettled. He took the more boisterous rat and extracted blood as quickly as he could. “I’ll have the bloods checked so we can know what type of poison it was. I’ll put them on a drip in the meantime and see how the fair.” “Thanks doctor,” Reggie replied with genuine gratitude. “Errr,” Alex averted his gaze. “I’ll have to give them a few hours at least. I can call you when I know more.” Alex felt a tremble as Reggie brushed the mass of blonde curls back from his face and looked behind him with a cool stare. “Take care of them. The girl at the desk has my number.” He drew his phone from his back pocket and busied himself with a text message as he left the room. When alone with the rats Alex gave another sigh. This time it wasn’t relief. Jacket seemed fine. Alex was confident with some treatment he could go home. Smash on the other hand was sniffing very closely to that eternal rat trap. Could timid Alex really be the one to tell one of the Penn triplets he had lost their precious pet under his care?
“They back doctor?” Reggie Penn came bounding in the following morning. For the third time Alex resisted the urge to correct the towering presence of the youngest triplet. He had called the clinic three times the previous afternoon to check up on his rats. He finally gave up when he spoke to Alex himself who explained he was going to keep them overnight for further observation but both (thankfully Smash took a turn for the better) were fine and looking well. Alex laid the carrier on the examination table. Both rats were squeaking with delight. The vet was glad to have them off his hands. He thought Reggie would have taken the carrier but instead he opened it up and plunged his long fingers and drew the rat out. He sat Jacket on his shoulder and held Smash out in front of him. “I thought you were a goner,” he cheered, tickling the rats twitching nose. When he noticed Alex was watching him the vet averted his gaze. “Luckily the rodenticide used was slow acting. I gave a few transfusions for Smash to flush out the poison and one for Jacket to be safe,” explained the vet. “Slow acting, huh?” Reggie kept his focus on the rats. “I’ll give you some Vitamin K1. Keep giving them that for the next month and they should be fine.” Reggie put them back in their carrier. His phone bleeped again. He pulled it from the back pocket of his black jeans, checked it and stored it away again. “I really owe you.” Alex’s eyes widened. “It’s just my job. No worries.” He took a deep breath. “Happy to help.” The last thing. He wanted was to have a Penn indebted to him.
By the time Alex got home he was looking forward to washing off the day. “Alex! Wait up!” Alex turned. His chest tightened as he caught sight of blonde hair. Luckily it wasn’t a Penn. It was the unkempt bleached hair of his friend, DAVID FINN. “Thank God it’s you,” Alex gasped. David narrowed his gaze. “Who else would it be?” I had one of the Penns in my clinic today. David asked, “which one?” “Reggie. The one with all the rats.” “I bet that was an experience,” David jested as they slowly started to climb the steps. The Penn Auction House had shown some interest in David’s work. The sent one of their acquisitions agents to liaise with the Harper Dalway gallery that held most of David’s pieces but he hadn’t met the triplets personally. “Luckily I managed to save the rats.” David laughed. “That’s good. You might have ended up in one of the cages.” He stuck his tongue out and made a comical imitation of a man dying. Alex punched his arm good naturedly. “It’s not funny,” he said but he was now laughing too. His phone beeped so he stopped on the steps to check it. It was a notification from the Lonesome Nights game. REG3 SENT YOU A FRIEND REQUEST. “Fuck!” Alex exclaimed. He showed David. David shrugged. “You better not ignore it. Do you want to have rats put up your arse?” Alex stared at him in horror. “True story, man,” the artist confirmed with a shrug. Alex accepted the request. Just has he made to store his phone away it beeped again. REG3 SENT YOU 5000 COINS Alex had been given a generous amount of credit to use within the game. A message followed. THANKS AGAIN DOCTOR. HAVE A GOOD QUALITY PROSTITUTE ON ME. David laughed more heartily when Alex showed him the new development. “Can you believe this?” Alex exclaimed. David grinned. “You should ask him for real money or a real prostitute.” The both continued joshing until entered Alex’s apartment. Alex’s mind turned back to why the rats had been poisoned in the first place. “Why would someone do that?” Alex wondered. David picked up the copy of the Coldford Daily the downstairs neighbour put through the door as she did every day when she had finished reading. “Those guys have enemies. People out there are sick.” Alex dropped into the sofa. “Well I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t think I’m cut out to be Reggie Penn’s personal vet.” David had been flicking through to the sports pages for the latest news on the Coldford Athletic football team when he stumbled on an article from Sam Crusow. “Well I don’t think they’ll be doing it again anyway.” He showed Alex the headline that caught his attention. MAN FOUND DEAD IN A NORTH SIDE LOCK UP. Coroner’s report confirms death by rat poison. Coincidence? Not very likely.