The Black Massive

The Black Massive

It was a banging scene, back in the day. Before Cadman came out of the shadows, touting his weird black shit.

Back then it was all colour and sound. Everyone off their bone, grinning like nutters, sweating and gurning and losing it to the lights and the tunes. Lasers slicing the dark. Bass beats kicking up from the floor. Fractal lead lines like living things, like creatures of light that danced the sound, that danced the rush that was all of us. It was like another world. A magic kingdom.

Fucking La La Land.

I’d tell Mum I was staying round Dog’s, then we’d catch the bus out to Tescos carpark. The warehouse was always this big secret—the flyer in my pocket didn’t say nothing more than a time and a place for all the ravers to meet. No one knew where they was going ’til the lead car pulled in and everyone drove in convoy to the night.

Me and Dog was too young to drive, so we had to be there in time to cadge a lift. We’d go early and slip into the bog before the supermarket closed. Sometimes we’d roll one. Other nights we’d sniff whizz off the bog seat, come out sipping Strawberry Ribena, breaking the seal on a brand new pack of Benson & Hedges. Then we’d strut out between the cars, looking for mates or a friendly face, grinning and bobbing, blowing smoke rings into the cold, still night…


Read the full story for free in Issue 21 of Dimension6.



Tad was lying. Again.

Not that anything gave him away. His grey eyes did not waver. His lips did not twitch, only pushed forward into the half-pout he’d studied, rehearsed, perfected over hours before the mirror. He could dissemble with all the finesse of a double agent.

“I would’ve called, Bae, but you know how it is. Derek kept me and the others back, talking motivation. Actor stuff.”

He curled butter onto a knife, scraped it to every corner of his sourdough toast. It was like an act of worship, the way he smoothed the expensive marmalade with such precision. It nauseated me.

Tad could have been a “ten”. He had pale, smooth skin over high, sharp cheekbones, raffish dark hair, painstakingly unkempt, and a physique at once delicate and masculine. Even dressed down, in khaki slacks and a cream polo shirt, he was impeccable, with creases taut and collars erect. He could have been perfect, but was held back by an air of smug self-satisfaction that kept each practised smile from ever touching his eyes…

Duplicity was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story in 2017.

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