Twisted Metal & Cinnamon Cakes by Gwil James Thomas

Twisted Metal & Cinnamon Cakes

By Gwil James Thomas

“The Somalians and Jamaicans have been beefing again. It’s been kicking off down my road these last weeks,” Robert said, scratching at the whiskers that he called his beard, not that my own was much better at that point.

“Oh,” I said.

“Yardies moved in, brought guns over and started smashing up growing kits. There were several destroyed in our road alone,” Robert said.

“All in your road,”“Yeah, it surprised me too. One evening we all got this bout of three-way paranoia and decided that we’d stuff all our shit – or almost all of it, into two cinnamon cakes. I didn’t wanna catch them sniffing anything out. You don’t wanna get dragged into that,” Robert said and opened a vintage looking cake tin “You want another slice of cake?” he offered.

I was surprisingly hungry and took up his offer, stuffing myself as I waited for Robert. I thought of everything and nothing as I diverted my attention from the roach ends and stones of the Go board, to the accentuated rhythm of the rising incense smoke.

Outside, the summer sun had already begun to set over the city. As I stuck the keys in the ignition, it seemed that I’d half forgotten that the car wasn’t mine and that I was in a rush to get it back, not to mention giving Robert a lift. It had all crept up on me slowly and just as we drove out from Stapleton Road, I suddenly realized that I couldn’t quite focus on the speedometer. That was when it dawned on me, that that stupid little Cinnamon Cake was trying to possess me.

We reached the next set of lights as a police car pulled into the lane alongside us. It was then that time was suspended, I tried to act normally and gingerly fiddled with the pine scented air-freshener. Riding shotgun, the cop car was on Robert’s side, as he tried his hardest to avoid eye contact, but even I could see that they were staring at him. A flash of blue panned across the dashboard, but they were off elsewhere. We moved away from the main road and drove off past the Polish, as I continued to fight the Cinnamon Cake. I wound down the window and flicked some music on, DOOM played over the speakers as I searched for something more appropriate and braked gently to a stop as we reached the next set of lights. I tried to assure myself that I was overcoming it, my mind was stronger – this was nothing huge, just some minor psychotropic indulgence. I stared out of my window and took in my surroundings – some near by greenery, the blades of grass that seemed to vibrate in the breeze, some birds attacking a bird feeder, a passing dark haired woman tonguing at a lolly from behind her shades. I put my foot down and from nowhere came another car – like a speeding shark’s fin moving towards a group of surfers. We came closer and closer then we collided. I knocked the side of the other car and continued with my foot on the brakes, skidding across the road, the air bag deployed. I wrestled with it and the steering wheel, the car span – the view outside blurred around us, sounds of glass and metal rained down on the concrete floor before finally I stopped and fell into the airbag. I paused for quite some time then wrestled with the air bag and got out of the car. Through the smoke I could see another battered car. The driver flung open his door but I was in no state to negotiate anything.

“We’ve got to get out of here before the police come back, I’ve still got shit on me,” Robert said.

He was right, one way or another I was in the shit again, though how deep was something that still seemed debatable. I handed over some details to the other driver and tried to remember his, but we had to make haste. Black smoke filtered through my window as I drove on through the back roads, while Robert leant out of his, looking for someplace we could ditch the thing and walk.

Finally the car couldn’t move anymore and we got out and pushed it into a parking space. I lifted the bonnet – I tried to make some sense of it through the smoke, I could make out a broken fan belt somewhere between other alien parts of twisted metal and gave up. There was no way out of it, I’d killed the car.

“Fuck it – there’s a park around the corner, let’s just sit back, smoke a joint and try to figure this out,” Robert said. I Paused for a moment, I’d fucked up royally, but at least nobody was hurt.

“Alright, let’s call it a day here,”

We figured nothing out, but we forgot about everything for a while.

Years have passed since then, but I’ll  remember it every other time I see a cinnamon cake and recall how I came to hate 95% of cakes.

Gwil James Thomas

Gwil James Thomas was born in Bristol, England in 1987. His written work can be found widely online, in zines, magazines and in Greek bookshops. He is currently working on a self publishing his first poetry collection titled Gwil Vs. Machine.

gwil

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