Extract from the prelude to Part Three of Game of Life

On a snowbound Easter Sunday, the Porlocks gather for the final time in their soon-to-be demolished family home. All Porlocks that is, except one. As time and nature close in, the family embarks on a journey of remembrance from ancient Egypt to Victorian England and into its own troubled past, awakening long-repressed voices which refuse to be silenced.

An entry in the private diary of Elise Porlock, Monday 21 March 2005

I went to him again last night and we mixed our blood together. He’s like a second dad. When I was little, I remember how huge Dad number one seemed. A giant stomping around, like those big and small dreams you have when you’re ill. That’s how my Prince seems now, like he’s from another land full of giants.

We used razor blades, just to make little cuts. Then we held our wounds together and looked into each other’s eyes. It was so sweet, so spiritual. We had to be careful, because you know I bleed quicker than most. I felt his hunger then, like I imagine I will when he’s inside me. And you know how that feels, don’t you Lucy? Different from when we used to experiment on each other, I bet. BLUSH.

Between us girls – he’s got SERIOUS game. DOUBLE BLUSH. Did I tell you he was a games designer? He creates the setting, rules, story, props, vehicles, character interface and modes of play. He says he loves the idea of creating characters and then giving them to other people to control. Says his last girlfriend cast a spell on him which only I can break. Corny I know, but I liked it. You could tell he really meant it.

OMG, I’ve not told you about his tattoos, have I? They’re all over his back and arms, like a weird tangled mess of trees. I love the pale white skin underneath, as if there’s an angel trapped behind it all waiting to be freed. You could spend ages looking at the ink and not working out what it means. Hidden depths, you know. Sometimes I feel they’re a front and don’t really say what’s inside. More like a barbed wire fence that warns you to keep out. Dracula’s castle. The House of the Undead. My Prince of Darkness.

Next thing you know I’ll be going through some kind of weird Goth phase wearing dark eyeliner, sleeping all day and listening to angry bedwetting tunes to piss off mum and dad. Christ, something’s got to get them going. If they do fight, they do it all behind closed doors. At least with my prince, I know he’s taken off his mask.

You know what we talked about the other night though? Death. I said the first time I realised everyone died was at the British Museum where I saw a mummy in its tomb. I remember crying. All I wanted to do was go up and down in the lifts all day. Then there was that one summer when the bird got stuck in our chimney. It fluttered and beat its wings for days, getting slower and quieter. Then it stopped. I knew what had happened and that made me cry too.

It sounds crazy but I feel like I’m in The Tiger Who Came to Tea. This powerful creature coming into my life and taking everything. You want them back, but they never come. But he does come eventually, ha ha. Anyway, Luce, the blood is where it begins and the blood is where it all ends, I reckon. Blood is life, love, friendship and bonding. Something sacred. When you swap it, there’s no going back.

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