The Gangster’s Suit

Fictive Dream

by Mark Renney

The Gangster’s Wife had arranged to meet with an old friend in a park, close to the offices where she once worked. She hadn’t been in the city in a while, at least not during the day and on her own, without the Gangster and all that being with him entailed.

It was bright and sunny with shadows slicing the pavement. She could hardly see in front of herself but it felt good, getting lost in the crowd and looking in shop windows at all she could so easily afford, at all she already had.

She didn’t have any regrets, hadn’t ever doubted that she could be who she had become. They were clichés, she and the Gangster. She was all too aware of this. In their designer labels and with their fast cars and holidays in the sun. And she had hardened over the years, well…

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Christine and I have a new post on Hijacked Amygdala.

hijacked amygdala

Chris R-0957 Image by Christine Renney

It struck Thomas as odd that he wasn’t repelled by his newest neighbour, who was very eccentric and extremely loud, the type of person Thomas had always gone out of his way to avoid. Strangely, he found himself drawn to the man and didn’t mind getting caught out on their communal landing or on the hard standing in front of the main entrance doors.
Thomas would happily stand alongside this man and talk, although he wasn’t required to do much of that. All he really needed to do was listen and nod along, getting the occasional word in whenever he could and often he would laugh because his neighbour was funny. Thomas had decided it wasn’t so much what the man said but how he said it. He had a gift for language, a way with words. It was as if he were reciting dialogue written…

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Chris R-0140 Image by Christine Renney

Over the years Tanner had become highly attuned to his work and was able to spot the conspirators from afar. He could pick them out on a busy street, in a crowded bar or restaurant. This wasn’t ever based on anything concrete but he just knew. Perhaps it was because he had been obliterating these people for so long. Rubbing them out, the ones who conspired against and opposed the system, once they had been exposed after the fact.
Tanner had reported his suspicions hundreds upon hundreds of times and he had never been wrong. Each and everyone of those individuals had been found guilty and eventually their names appeared on The Eraser list. Occasionally Tanner will be appointed the case of one of his suspects and he always finds this deeply satisfying. He had been the first to recognise that this particular person was a potential agitator, someone who could easily stray and be pulled from the centre. Someone who would believe the lies and help to perpetuate the myth and now Tanner was able to wipe him or her from the face of the earth or at least from the system. To remove all evidence and any legitimacy that might still remain.


I am so sad to hear that Mark E Smith has died.  I have been listening to The Fall for forty years, for as long as I have been serious about music.  I was a little too young for Punk so for me it was always the music which came afterwards and I quickly realised that a band like The Fall were much more interesting than the Sex Pistols.  If it hadn’t been for Smith I wouldn’t have discovered Lee Perry or Can or Ornette Colman or Sun Ra or Captain Beefheart.  I guess John Peel put it best: The Fall – always the same, always different.


Chris R-2-3 Image by Christine Renney

Everything is so much smaller now and each day familiar, echoing the last. On the road the repetition was harsh and ceaseless. I wasn’t able to retire in the evenings and sleep in a bed and, come morning, begin afresh. I still can’t but somehow I have managed to establish a routine of sorts.
When the shops are open I walk the streets and I select a spot and I settle down. A particular doorway at a particular time. The abandoned spaces in front of the boarded windows and the ’TO LET’ signs. But not too far out – it has to be in a part of the city where people come, where they congregate. Pubs, clubs and restaurants or better still office blocks, places of employment and of course shops.
There are others here, vying for space, for a little change, but they aren’t resentful or in any way proprietorial. We are like fishermen on a bank and the busy thoroughfare is our river. They don’t ignore or avoid me but they do leave me alone and occasionally I will nod at one of these men because, for this, I am grateful.


I have a new post on Hijacked Amygdala.

hijacked amygdala

Chris R-0868 Image by Mark Renney

Despite the lack of evidence, Carter was utterly convinced he was missing a body part, that he had lost something, a piece of himself. He couldn’t stop checking and wherever he might be he would hold his hands up in front of his face and count off the fingers. Or was it a bit of his ear or part of his nose? Or was there a hole in his forehead or in his side or was it a toe? No matter that he always rediscovered he was complete, that nothing had gone astray, he didn’t feel reassured. But he had no scars nor wounds. All of him was in its place and working properly.
Carter decided that if he could pinpoint exactly when and where it had happened he would be able to move beyond it and stop obsessing. He had been suffering from this strange…

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