The club was packed with hundreds of people and the Damned’s Love Song took over from the tender mercies of Placebo. I relaxed slightly finishing my drink in one long swallow. I was standing on the edge of the dance-floor which was flooded with Goths in tight, black clothes with hair combed to the sky as McDiarmid would no doubt have had it. The effects of the alcohol, music I knew and trusted and the presence of so many people anaesthetised me further, taking me back to the times I used to come here looking for my idea of a good time.
I made for the door in search of the toilet. It was bound to be in the same place and so I took the spiral stair down two flights and walked along a darkened corridor to the end and turned left. A chill not altogether natural chill raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Something was slithering along the ceiling behind me, but every time I looked around the noise stopped and couldn’t see anything. For a moment I thought I’d made a mistake and either come down the wrong stairs or they’d moved the toilet.
Then just as I was about to turn round and retrace my steps, the unmistakeable depiction of the female form appeared on a dark green door to my left. It opened with a loud screech to darkness and a damp, dank smell of old mould and urine. Fumbling with my hand on the wall, searching for the switch I cut myself on something sharp and swore loudly. The place was hushed as though a silent unseen crowd was monitoring my every move fascinated about what I was going to do next. Well, in a toilet there really wasn’t that much mystery.
I finally found the switch and wished I’d gone about my business in the dark. Even with my glasses on, the fuzzed edges of the walls and door spoke of a heavy emotional detritus left behind by the pain and suffering of the living. I knew that I’d see those familiar vermilion shades were I to take them off and so didn’t bother.
The drip of an old fashioned tap was the only sound and I set about finding the cleanest cubicle. The floor was littered with toilet roll and used tampon wrappers and the stench was beginning to make my gorge rise into my throat. It hadn’t been like this in the old days. But then it wasn’t surprising that no one wanted to clean it given what had happened down here. A dark streak of misery in the corner was in all probability all that remained of one or more of the victims, more emotion than actual ghost.
I pulled down my trousers and was about to get on with it when the door was kicked open. A blur of motion and then I was hauled to my feet by a hand around my throat with a knife pressed against it hard enough to draw blood. A cloth mask with cross stitches where the eye holes should have been covered the face but couldn’t disguise the heavy breathing or the obvious excitement of my attacker. Irrationally it made me remember the little ghosts at the St Birds pad until the fact that I was in a fight for my life managed to percolate through my thick skull.
I started to choke, hands clawing at the one that held my throat in a blind instinctual fight for survival. But The Man With The Cross-Stitched Eyes wasn’t going to take no for an answer….