Zedlist – Part Twenty Two


There was a knock and Harrison immediately started barking at the door. Amy walked through to the hall from the dining room and closed the adjoining door behind her. “Package for Amy Reed” The postman said. “Thank you”, Amy said, taking the small parcel and signing for it. She went upstairs and opened the package, revealing lots of bubble wrap and a clear glass bottle containing a translucent liquid. She put the bottle onto her dressing table with the perfumes and cosmetics that she received every Christmas and birthday, but never used. When Amy returned back downstairs, her father had left for work and her mother was in the kitchen, standing with bare feet and staring into space.

“Who was that?” Mad asked.

“Who was what?”

“At the door.”

“It was just the postman with another package from Loveness”, Amy said, “Why don’t you go back to bed, I’ll do the dishes.”

Without responding Mad returned to her bedroom.

Over the next two weeks Amy worked much harder than anyone could have known. As well as doing all the work experience duties – she also kept a log of how many people there were on the premises at any one time, the number of security operatives, the broadcasting schedule, the number of coffee machines and water dispensers, and many more details that she thought might come in handy. As well as doing all this she had to remain as invisible as possible. If anyone had any idea of what she was doing, the whole plan would be ruined. She took photos of all the rooms and a picture of the building layout, which was conveniently in the reception foyer for all to see. All the information gathered was sent straight to Kevin and Tim. People at the station were so focused on their own tasks that they failed to notice the reconnaissance mission going on right under their noses.

Being inconspicuous wasn’t hard for Amy, she had always found that she faded into the background, but never before had this quality been so useful. Most people at the station had absolutely no idea that she was Colin Reeds daughter. Amy was glad of this. It gave her the perfect opportunity to find out what people at the station really thought of her father. Unsurprisingly he was not as popular as the images of him plastered all around the building may have led people to believe. Amy couldn’t walk more than several metres without being confronted with a blown up image of her dad’s ruddy, bloated head. Amy thought that the whole point of having a face for radio was that people didn’t have to look at it.

Amy couldn’t believe how two faced everyone was, grovelling in front of her dad in boardroom meetings and then slagging him off in the corridor. Although Amy agreed with the mass dislike of her father, it was never easy hearing it from someone else.

On the morning of the radio station hijack Amy had spent an hour in her room following a make-up tutorial entitled “How to look sexy in the workplace.” She thought that if she were to conform to the social expectations of beauty, then people might pay more attention to her. Manipulating her colleagues might prove more effective too, especially as the station was about seventy per cent male.

It had worked even better than she had anticipated. She sauntered around the station offering everyone cups of coffee and fluttering her eyelashes, for the first time she was being noticed. As far as Amy was concerned this was purely a practical endeavour and she had no intention of wearing make-up again.

Amy had been looking for signs of the drug taking effect on her workmates. The difficult part was not being sure of the time that each person would have ingested the substance. The effects had just started to show in some of the radio employees. Some became very introverted, focusing in on details: Patterns, textures and colours. Other workers were louder and more unpredictable. Sean, the younger of the two security guards, got aggressive briefly in the lobby. He had found chocolate sauce in the canteen kitchen and had used it as war paint. There were a string of perfectly projected, yet seemingly unconnected words coming out of his mouth, like some kind of surrealist poem. Amy appreciated this Dada-esque display and thought that it was probably more dangerous to repress it, so she let him jump around on furniture for a while. He started eating the chocolate sauce from his cheek and then found a bean bag in one of the conference rooms and started rubbing his face in it.

The other security guard, Dennis, had got transfixed on the static noise his radio kept making, holding it to his ear with an expression on his face as if looking out to sea at boats on the horizon. The radio started talking suddenly and Dennis looked into the mouth piece.

“Biscuits, angels, slippers on kippers, walking up, no, no, opening eyes, don’t, opening, don’t. Lentil soup, the carrots go in before the onions, always before. Pink. Light.”

The randomness of his partners little piece of performance art had completely thrown his train of thought and the words seemed to spiral around in Dennis’ head. He was trying to find some kind of connection between them.






Lucas Howard

When I was seven I started copying poems out of a book and telling people they were mine. When I ran out of good ones to copy, I had to start writing my own. I have been performing and organising nights on the UK spoken word scene now for over seven years and am most of the way through writing the first draft of my first novel 'Zedlist', which is serialised on here. As the story is in fetal form, any critiques or suggestions are most welcome.

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