A piece of weirdness by our FT :>)

Selly Oak, Birmingham
Sunday 7th February 1999



The Rat King

It's 2am. We're heading home. It's me and Sam and Greg.
We're full of beer. I'm very drunk. I stumble, bruise a leg.
Sam helps me up, then stops. 'Hear that?' he asks. A scratching sound.
It's coming from the bins behind the Balti, dodgy ground.

'Less go an' see,' I slur. 'Less not,' says Greg; 'it's just a mouse.'
'I wanna see the mouse,' I say. 'The mouse inside 'is 'ouse.'
'Alright,' Greg sighs. We cross the tarmac, walk towards the bins.
'Yuck, smell,' says Sam. 'Iss meat.' I sniff. 'And onon, onion skins.'

The scratching starts again. 'Oh, God,' says Greg. He's looking pale.
'Wassup?' I ask. 'The Rat King, Fran.' 'In't that a children's tale?'
'No, urban myth. I've just remembered. Time for us to go.'
'Okay.' I'm scared. Sam wants to see. Greg tries to stop him: 'NO!'

Too late. He's seen. His eyes are wide. 'A ring of rats!' he shouts.
'It's thirteen tails, all knotted at the centre... whiskers... snouts...
and eyes. Well, twenty-six of those. But tails, they're like a brain!
My brain! The Rat King's in my brain!' he shrieks and shrieks again.

'Wass happening to him, Greg?' I ask. Greg's calling 999.
'Get out!' Sam screams. His eyes are bleeding. Greg shouts, 'You'll be fine!'
The scratching stops. Sam collapses on the tarmac. Is he dead?
I rush towards him, grab his hand. And then I see his head.

It's all caved in. I turn away and throw up pizza, beer.
I think I'll faint. Just then Greg shouts, 'The ambulance is here!'
'Too late,' I mutter. Men in green descend. I'm helped away.
I'm blanketed. They ask me things. 'Rat King, Rat King,' I say.

'I tried to stop him,' Greg is saying. Greg sounds small and sad.
A man in green nods, pats his shoulder. 'Yes, you did. Good lad.'
They're lifting Sam. They've covered up his face, his head. He's gone.
Is this a trip? Why won't it stop? My thoughts spin on and on.

Another ambulance arrives. This one's for Greg and me.
They want to take us in. The shock. They say I've sprained my knee.
We're off. I'm shaking, don't feel right. There's cold sweat on my brow.
I didn't see the Rat King, but– I think it knows me now.




Poetry by Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 59 times
Written on 2021-05-15 at 20:55

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email (requires login)
dott Print text


Bibek The PoetBay support member heart!
How very dark & interesting!

Felt like reading a short fiction in verse. Loved it.
2021-05-17


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Macabre, but fun.
2021-05-16