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Daren King

We me an Star are under the pill bag. The pill bag is a jumbo big bag an is massive an full up of pills. We like it loads. It feels nice on us. On me an my girl she is called Star an we are in love. I love her. She is mine an we are called Star an me. We feel damn dead good together an the bag feels damn dead good on us. We are under it. This big bag of pills. It is a jumbo big bag on us. Feelin good on us. An us feelin damn dead good under it. Us layin together. Me an Star. Under this bag layin ere feelin damn dead good. Keep touchin each other. An touchin the bag what is on us. Feelin it. Feelin what it is like. An what it is like on us. It is white an is massive an full up of pills. An we are full up of pills aint we Star. Feelin damn dead good with the pills in us an the bag on us an the pills in the bag. We are under it curled an glued up together. Jus layin ere all curled up. Us curled up under the jumbo bag all bein touchy. Star keeps gettin touchy. Keeps touchin me. O you are touchy Star. All loved up an touchy. Keep touchin me. Keep wantin to do it. I jus keep sayin: “No no no. I carnt do it no more. My tongue is sore an numb.”

Star says: “O come on my big fondle man.”

“No no.”

Star says: “Come on Bole.”


“Show me your trouble monkey.”

“O no,” I say. “Not my trouble monkey.”

“Play with me with your trouble monkey.”


Star says: “Come on Bole.”

“I am sayin no.”

“Give us a lick Dick.”

“I am not Dick.”

Star says: “Give us a lick.”

“No,” I say. “I been doin that too long now. Keep doin all mucky stuff. Keep bein licky with you. I carnt keep doin all that all the time. My tongue is sore an numb.”

“Come on big man. We aint done none of that for too long.” Star says: “We jus been cuddlin.”

We jus been layin ere all curled up an cuddlin. Jus me an Star. My girl what I love. Star nudgin me in the rib with her elbow. The nudge feelin soft. I can feel it in me. It feels soft. I am gonna tell her. “Star I can feel you nudgin me.”

“No big man I aint doin that now. I done it I aint doin it no more.”

“But I can feel it,” I say. “I can feel it nudgin in me.”

“No. I done it Bole. I aint doin it now.” Star says: “I have done it.”

“But I can feel it like you are still doin it.”

“I know big man.” Star says: “You can feel it in you my nudge I know. But that dont mean nothin. That dont tell you nothin about my nudge. Only that I done it. It dont tell you I am doin it now coz I aint. I did it an stopped.”

“But Star why can I feel it now your elbow still stuck in me.”

“That is the spangles big man.” Star says: “They make you feel things what aint there no more. You feel things bein done when theyre done an aint no more bein done. They are like that. That is what they are like. But. But. Um. Big man.”




“What is it like Bole.” Star says: “What does the nudge feel like. Is it hurtin your rib.”

“No my girl,” I say. “It feels good it does. It feels soft. Like a rib hug.”

“That is the pills Bole.” Star says: “Lets eat more pills an do loads of rib hugs. Do em for ever.”

“No Star,” I say. “We aint got no more pills only them spangles an Es what are in us.”

“An them what are on us.”

“Them what.”

“Them pills.” Star says: “Them ones what are in the pill bag. What is on us.”

“No but they aint ours they are jus on us an any way they are in a bag. I have told you that already,” I say. “An I aint tellin you again.”

“Lets eat em.” Star says: “Lets eat the pill bag.”

“We carnt eat the pill bag,” I say. “We wont have nothin to lie under.”

“Well we aint doin nothin under it any way.”

“O Star what is this then what we are doin. Jus layin ere. Touchin each other. What is that doin if it aint doin nothin.” Star noddin her head. Me feelin it noddin. It noddin slow. Me jus layin ere bein touchy an--

“Big man.”

Me jus layin ere bein—

“Big man.”

My layin ere.

“Big man.” Star says: “My big man. Mmmm. I feel licky.”

Me jus layin ere bein touchy an--

“Oi big man.” Star says: “Aint you listenin no more. Listen to me. I feel licky. Listen big man.”

The trouble with Star is she keeps gettin licky when you dont feel like it no more.

“Big man. Dont you feel licky. I know what will make you licky.” Star says: “Lets eat the pill bag.”

“No Star we aint eatin no pill bag we have already eaten enough pills as it is like we have eaten em till theyre comin out our arse hole.”

“O come on Bole.” Star says: “We jus eat the bag an not even eat the pills what are in it.”

“No Star,” I say. “We eat that an we wont even have nothin to lie under. I have said it before an I aint even sayin it again.”

“Well.” Star says: “Well we might as well eat it. We aint doin nothin under it like I already said an I aint even sayin that again neither same as you. We could do stuff under it but you wont even do no lickin coz you reckon youre tired an dont even feel licky no more.”

That is the trouble with Star is she gets licky when you dont feel like it no more. When you jus feel like crawlin about under this bag with her. There is jus me an my big ol Star under this bag. Jus feelin nice. There is the arguin what is words but the words dont feel like arguin words coz of our love. The words about Star feelin licky an me sayin I aint havin none of it coz I dont never even feel like it no more. An I aint even sayin it again.

Star says: “Tongue me big man. I feel licky.”

“I know you do you keep on about it. An I am sayin what I already said. An what I said is I aint doin none of that no more an I aint even sayin it again. I have said it an I aint even gotta say it no more.”

“You better say it again big man coz it is gone.”

“What is gone,” I say. “Your feelin licky is gone.”

“No big man.” Star says: “That aint never gonna be gone till I do stuff with you what makes it gone. No Bole the thing what is gone is you sayin that what you said. You said that you aint doin it an you said you dont have to say it again. But I am sayin to you big man that you better say it again else what you said aint even true no more. If you aint sayin you aint feelin licky then it aint true no more an you are feelin licky. So you better get down some real proper dirty lickin.”

“Alright Star my girl I am sayin it now. It is true an I will keep sayin it to make it keep bein true. What I am sayin is I aint doin no licky stuff with you an I aint even gonna. An that is all what I am sayin. I aint licky I aint licky I aint licky I aint licky I aint licky I aint licky I aint--”

Star shakin her head. “Well big man. Listen to this.” Star says: “There aint nothin you can do no more to escape the licky. Coz if you stop sayin it then it stops bein true an if you dont stop sayin it an keep sayin it then if you open your mouth to say it or anythin what you are sayin I am gonna stick my tongue in.”

“--licky I aint licky I aint licky I aint licky I aint--”

She has. Stuck her tongue in.

Me an Star doin kissin stuff. Under this pill bag. Wigglin. An wrigglin. An feelin. Damn dead good. The feelin bein nice. Too nice. This feelin what is comin over us. This E feelin. What keeps comin over us. Ere it comes. This feelin. What comes. Can Star feel it too. I am gonna ask her. “Oi Star,” I say. “Can you feel it.”

“Mmmmmm yes I jus feel you big man.”

“How do you feel.”

“I jus feel under this pill bag with you.”

“But how do you feel Star.” Me sayin it meanin the E feelin. “How do you feel in you.”

“Um. I feel. Feel like your trouble monkey aint in me. An it should be. So stick it in me. Come on.”

“No Star. That feelin aint the feelin what I mean. I mean the E feelin,” I say. “Dont you have that too.”

“Mmmm yes big man. I have it it makes me feel licky.” Star says: “Give me licky lick licks little ones yeah an big ones too.”

“But I have been givin you licky kisses all the time what we have been talkin.”

“I dont mean jus licky kisses big man.” Star smilin lickin her lips like in a advert sayin: “I mean licky naughties too.”

“O Star I despair of you some times I really do. I dont even never know if youre comin or goin or where you end or where you begin. I only know what you keep sayin all the time an all you keep sayin all the time is that you feel licky an all I am sayin is I dont even feel like it no more.”

“Lick me all up an do mucky stuff to me.” Star says: “An put your mucky stuff in me.”

“My mucky stuff is tired an wants to go nunnights.”

“Lick me all up an under.”

“The only under what I am lickin you is under this pill bag,” I say. “An I aint even doin that no more.”

“Jus do it once then I will shut my big ol mouth.”

“Hmm. O alright.” Me doin it but not under jus on her topper part.

“Carnt you count big man.” Star says: “That aint even once.”

“The only thing what I can count Star is pills an I carnt even count them with out countin em more than what is there.”

“Countin more than what is there is good Bole coz you get more than what you got.” Star says: “So if I count the dirties what I get from you an I count more than what I get then I get loads but if I count only them what I really get then I dont get nearly none. An if I count less than what I really get then I hardly dont get nothin.”

“Why do you always have to get somethin,” I say. “Why carnt you get nothin like me an feel like youve got somethin.”

Star shrugs. “Well why are we even under it any way. An why is it so big.”

“I dunno,” I say. “But it is big an we are under it.”

“Well Bole.” Star says: “How did we even get under it. An why did we. An when.”

“Dunno.” Me shruggin. “But. I feel like we been under it for ever an not nearly long enough.”

“Well Bole. Shall we get out of it an have a look at what is above it. An where it is.” Star says: “Then we can see from where we have come.”

Star may get up my arse hole but she does have all the best ideas so we do her idea an get out from under it pokin our heads out from under the pill bag what we are under. When we poke out of it it gettin heavy. A heavy feelin sittin on our pill bag sittin on us. It is a fella. It is Boxy. “Hallo Boxy.”

Star says: “Hallo there Boxy fancy meetin you here.”

Boxy says: “Well this is my flat.”

Star says: “What are you doin on our pill bag.”

Boxy grinnin up side down his white teeth. “Sorry. I didnt know you two were under there.” His big black face grinnin at me an at Star. At our white heads what are pokin out from under the jumbo pill bag.

Star says: “Are you sittin on us or squashin us or somethin. I carnt hardly feel you but I reckon youre breakin my bones an I carnt feel it now but I know I will feel it when I come down if I come down.”

“No Star,” I say. “He is sittin on our pill bag.”

“Have you lost some pills.” Big black fella Boxy gettin up offof us an scramblin for somethin. Scramblin among the pill bag for some lost thing. I reckon it is us what is lost but we are ever lost an wont never be found so he carnt be lookin for that he aint a fella what wastes his time. Boxy says: “Have you lost some pills Bole.”

“No,” I say. “Weve only jus lost us.”

“Am I sitting on your pills.” Boxy says: “You said Im sitting on your pills.”

“Am I.” Me shruggin. “Did I.”

“Come on you two. Either you have lost them or you have not lost them. If you have lost them you ought to slither out from under there and allow me to help you search for them.” Boxy rummagin an searchin about thru the pill bag for the pill bag.

Me thinkin about it.

Me gettin it. “No Boxy,” I say. “That aint what I said. This is all what I said. What I said is youre sittin on our pill bag an it aint the pill bag what is lost it is us what I said is lost.”

“Well then Bole where is this pill bag.” Boxy says: “Please. Show it to me.”

“Boxy this is the pill bag,” I say. “This what you are sittin on squashin us an breakin our bones all up. An what me an Star are layin under.”

Boxy makin a sigh. “This is no pill bag you dunce ducks this is my duvet. And what it is doing out here in the corridor I do not know.”

Star says: “Aint it a pill bag then Boxy. A great big pill bag what is massive.”

“It is nothing of the sort.”

Me sayin: “Aint it a big bag of pills.”

Boxy his black face it is frownin. “No no no. Nothing of the sort. You dunce ducks. Its not a bag of anything. It is a duvet. You two are a fine pair. Der der da der der.” Boxy doin a sound what is like a ambulance or some one what is stoopid. “Come out from under there. The pair of you. My guests will tread on you. Theyre hot to trot my lot. You two loverducks. Come out from under my duvet.”

Me sayin: “Carnt we come out from under the pill bag.”

“Yes Bole you can come out from what you like just get on with it before you get my goat.”

Star says: “Is it a goat.”

We are jokin him now. “Yeah,” I say. “Is it a goat.”

“O you dunce ducks. Listen to me. One more time. Dunce ducks. It is not a pill bag. And you know it isnt a goat. Now. Listen.” Boxy says: “Read my petals. It. Is. A. Duvet.”

O. It is. We are dunce ducks.

People startin trampadin round us.

This is Boxys party. We come out in to Boxys party.

Me sayin: “Is it a party here then or somethin.”

“It is Bole yes.” Boxy says: “It is my coming out party.”

Me sayin: “Is it your house then or somethin.”

“Its the corridor out side my flat.” Boxy says: “The party spilled out somewhat.”

Hmmm. We could eat the pills. “Can we eat the pills then Boxy.”

Star says: “Yeah Boxy can we. If its a party then we should be out of our boxes.”

Boxy says: “You are both already out of your boxes.”

“Yeah Star,” I say. “We are out of our boxes.”

“Yeah we are out of Boxys flat.” Star says: “Out in the corridor.”

“Well,” I say. “Boxys aint the boxes what it is best to get out of. Lets eat the pills in the pill bag.”

“No Bole theres millions of em in there fillin it up.” Star shakin her head sayin: “We would get stoopid if we ate that much.”

Boxy says: “Look. Have you lost some pills or not. If you want some pills I will give you some pills. I still owe you some from sending you up to Madchester last weekend.”

I dont know what he is on about. “I dont know nothin about no Madchester,” I say. “But I do know what I want an I want pills.”

Boxy puttin his hand in his skirt front pocket an pullin out a pill bag what is little see thru plastic an has got pills in. Boxy says: “Here you go. There are two Es in there. And forty spangles. Now we are straight. Happy. Now please. Return my duvet to my bed before it gets mucky.”

Me sayin: “Thank you my big darky.”

“Bole. I am not a big darky I am a big tranny. And this is my duvet.” Boxy says: “Now. Stand up and screw your heads back on. The pair of you. You dunce ducks. You seem both to have problems with knowing what things are.”

No we dont we only know what things are like an that that is what things really are. If somethin feels like somethin then it is that somethin an if it dont then it aint. If this is white like pills an big like a bag then it is a pill bag what ever way you look at it. That is the thing with Boxy is he dont know what things are like only what they are. That is why he is good at what he does.

Sorry Boxy. For callin you a darky.

But the pill bag is so white you look so dark on it. Your face peerin over it. Sayin it is your party. Sayin we are dunce ducks an get goats what we aint. Sayin it is a duvet spoilin our pill bag get offof us no not really I love you Boxy an Star you are the people what are in my life. “I love you Boxy an Star come ere.”

Star says: “Time for licky licky now.”

“No,” I say. “Time for huggy that is why I said Boxy too.”


Daren King is a fiction writer and journalist who runs an independent techno label. His first novel Boxy an Star (1999) was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and reached the top ten contenders for the prestigious Booker Prize. It has been translated into German (Rogner & Bernhard). One of his stories was included in the controversial New Puritans anthology; another appears in Zadie Smith's Piece of Flesh collection. Check out Daren King's computer game and techno music site.

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