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King of the Estate

by Mac 

Posted: 10 May 2004
Word Count: 241

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King of the Estate

The glow from the dashboard lit up the underside of his face, painting it a Ghost Train palette of green and shadow. Hunched over the steering wheel as if the windscreen was a newspaper he was squinting to read, he nodded his head in time to the music, mouthing the lyrics to himself. He looked up at the flats towering over the dual carriageway like canyon sides. People said it was shit round here; they said that people were shit round here. “Fuck ‘em,” he thought. “We’re all just blood, bones, shit and piss. At least I know what I am and what I’m not. I’m not sat in a semi watching soaps, scratching my arse and wishing it was Christmas so I'd get a blow job off the wife.” He smiled at the thought and pushed the accelerator.


In the still and empty scream of 1:00 a.m. he’d cradle his tumbler with both hands. “Nora Kirwan, intercede for me. Paul Barry, Francis Louis Reagan, Patsy Dowd, Jim Feeney, John Fallon; intercede for me.” A convocation of the dead by one too sick of seeking forgiveness in whiskey.


She said she wanted to taste an orange and remember times before war and cancer changed everything. Taking the train to Hull, we bought one from a sailor. She was dead when we got back. Halving the dark rose blood-orange, we felt it weep down our chins.

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Comments by other Members

scottwil at 13:59 on 10 May 2004  Report this post
I read this because I loved the title: King of the estate. I love the piece too. There's so much power in so few words. Perhaps you should read John Donne if you haven't already.

Orange is brilliant - a sad prose poem. Lovely words.

I'm afraid I didn't understand Intercede.

crowspark at 15:51 on 10 May 2004  Report this post
Like the title and brilliant intro, particularly the description "Ghost Train palette of green and shadow" and "hunched over the steering wheel as if the windscreen was a newspaper he was squinting to read". For me it was more Steven King than Donne, especialy, "we’re all just blood, bones, shit and piss". I'm not knocking it, I like both!
Great stuff.

Anj at 20:12 on 10 May 2004  Report this post

So many things to love about this - the title, the Ghost Train palette, the windscreen newspaper, canyon flats.

I have a very strong image of a really big man squashed into a small car (H reg Ford Fiesta, trims, alloys, spoilers).

Thought "Christmas in case I get a blow job off the wife" might read better "Christmas so I'd get a blow job off the wife" (isn't it usually birthdays though?). Also, do you gun the accelerator or gun the engine?

Don't know, pink & fluffy girlie, so don't have the jargon.

Take care

Mac at 06:24 on 11 May 2004  Report this post

"Rave on, John Donne", as someone once said. Thanks for your comments. And I'd settle for making 1% of the living that Stephen King's made from writing! With regards to the frequency and timing of marital favours, I feel that it's a subject where you might reveal too much about yourself by passing comment so I'll draw a veil over that one.

ShayBoston at 07:00 on 11 May 2004  Report this post
Hi Mac,

I've previously commented on 'orange'. I thought 'King of the Estate' was a brilliant description of one man's contempt for those he lives amongst. 'Intercede' - a one-man seance. Almost given up hope, pleading with the dead for help (?)


Mac at 07:05 on 11 May 2004  Report this post

Hi Shay,
Yes, Intercede is one man's despairing plea for the dead that he has known to intercede with God on his behalf and save him from his own wretchedness. It's a Catholic thing...

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