The Monkey

I am Joshua Trent and am currently residing in Oakmore mental facility in Northern Ireland. I don’t sleep much.

I first saw the monkey one day whilst I was looking out of my window back at my flat. I was a bit angry that day and the cars were keeping me alone and without much hope, their engines speaking of misery on Earth for my type of character. The monkey showed its small, smiling face around the window frame and I smiled at it unsuprised. It jumped down onto the sill and it held in its hand a wooden whistle a few inches in length and old looking. I wanted to hear and see the monkey play the whistle, I wanted to sing along. My heart filled with a longing for this occurrence and I stepped forward. The monkey grinned wide at this and closed its eyes and nodded its head hideously and hilariously up and down at a frantic pace. Grinning and nodding and holding the whistle at chest height. But the monkey did not play the whistle and my world was thus without music, plunged into longing for the tunes that this monkey must know. I remembered where I had seen such grinning and nodding, it was by a chimp in the local zoo as a child. I did not know as a child why that chimp grinned or what it did with its time and thoughts. This small monkey on my windowsill was much smaller and what was it telling me? It stopped its mad nodding and pointed at its instrument when I had this question enter my head. It pointed and I thought of violence, savage violence. The monkey fled amusingly. It was my friend. I hoped to sing with that monkey one day.

I spent the rest of that day hating girls I previously loved and liked and soared above them to glorious, gentle, primitive whistling notes from a wooden object in tiny and insane paws. Blood was splashed on me and nowhere to go but up and away.


I next saw the monkey as I was walking down a road nearby, getting some exercise. It came into view atop a green fence at the same instant a girl I loved years back came into recognition walking in the opposite direction. She had goofy teeth and I looked at them; she was smiling at me! I looked franticly up at the monkey who was silent but pointed to its grinning mouth with its free hand and held up the silent, peace bringing whistle. I had on me my pliers and a few seconds later Teresa was screaming, wide eyed on the floor and clutching at her mouth. I was hovering above with her front two teeth in my clenched hand. I looked up hopefully to see the monkey was holding the whistle to its lips but the whistle made no sound. The monkey darted away and I ran home hearing Teresa’s screams and passers by shouting. The teeth I threw in the river.

I next saw the monkey at the local supermarket. I had on me a sharp cutting knife. I was thinking of home and was not relaxed, and was panicky as I saw the checkout girl was the pretty one with the hearing aid on her left ear. I still wanted to go for a drink with her but had already asked her once and she said no. I saw out of the corner of my eye the monkey clutching the whistle. It was hanging on a metal girder outside the shop windows. My mouth fell agape and knew my hand was pulling out the knife concealed in my trousers. The monkey nodded and I knew we would one day live in music together, in peace. The monkey nodded and pointed to its ear. A few seconds later I was outside the shop on the quiet street with a bloody severed ear in one hand and a hearing aid in the other. The monkey was scampering away over the petrol station. The ear and hearing aid I threw in the river.

I next saw the monkey in the park when I was sat on the bench having a smoke. I was in a near dreamlike state thinking of the instruments I would play with the monkey with all this around me gone. A girl I had fallen in love with months ago and still thought of in both dark and pleasanter moments walked up to me and said hello. She pulled out a cigarette and lit it calmly. I looked into her eyes. She was bog eyed and I liked this. Suddenly my pleasant concentration was gone and forgotten as the monkey swung down from a high branch to a lower one in a tree not far away. The whistle was there and the monkey held it as always. I had on me a screwdriver. As I fled the scene I looked back over my shoulder and the monkey grinned yet still the whistle was not played. The eyeball I later threw in the river.


I am to live here forever it seems and get little to no sleep. The nights are filled with incessant whistling. Tuneless, mocking and condemning noise that the other inmates play unceasingly on their small, wooden, toy instruments until morning. There are ten, no fifteen, no twenty of them and I sit with my ears covered with tense fists, elbows out in front, my teeth grinding and shut and my blood shot eyes clenched shut, yet wide awake seeing an endless black void.



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