Error 404 (Part 2)


“Yes, sir, you have three letters, and what looks like an application for a bank card.”

B. ripped a corner from the offending application and placed it on his tongue. He stared the concierge in the eyes as the tongue was withdrawn and B.’s  jaw began to masticate. An even tempo. And then he swallowed. B. thought for a second, then handed the envelope back with the words, “No thank you, it tastes like shit.”

The concierge handed B. a bottle of spring water.

“Thank you. Do you have a mint?”

“Of course, sir.”

“Thank you.”

B. entered his room, crossed the floor and sat down at the desk. He recognised the writing on two of the envelopes…fuck it…he opened a bottle of wine and then did the same to the correspondence from his mother.

Darling B.,

I’m filing for divorce; your father has become intolerable; any interaction with me has to be preceded by wine-

B. finishes the glass and pours another, wondering what he’s going to have for lunch.

-and he never listens to a word I say anyway; too busy thinking about his bloody stomach! I swear that if I don’t divorce him soon I’ll end up running a knife through it. Could you be a love and write to that lovely, young, solicitor friend of yours with whom you went to school? I’d do it myself but I’ve misplaced his details-

B. walks to the window and considers throwing himself out. He turns and walks back to the desk.

-and can’t for the life of me remember his name, nor his practice; I wouldn’t know where to look for him. Soon as you can, darling.-

B. slips the solicitor’s business card into an envelope, seals it, writes his mother’s name and address on the front, and flings it across the room towards the door. Tops up his glass.

-And get your sister to contact me; why can’t she be more like you.

Your loving mother.




Dearest B.,

Mother’s filing for divorce again; I think she wants some sort of applause; I’m convinced she believes that this is the first time, and that her years of martyrdom must surely come to an end; although the martyrs actually had to die in order to become martyrs…she genuinely sees the death of a non-relationship as akin to that, like she’s struggled against an oppressor; she’s at least set the groundwork for subjugated women of the future to build upon, it’s just that her depleted soul hasn’t the strength to carry it all the way through for herself. I don’t remember reading anywhere that it was a prerequisite for one to struggle in order to be strong; like there’s some sort of rite of passage one has to go through otherwise you’re not the real deal; and even if you’re weak at the end of it you can still be classed as strong because you survived, or you’re allowed to be weak because you survived; if one is weak innately then one is inferior and has no right to comment. I’d punch her if it didn’t prove her point.-

B. smiles, then frowns, then sups. He suspects that there is a question lurking in the letter somewhere; it annoyed him having to read something twice for information that wasn’t explicit; especially if it was so mundane a thing as a letter…it’s not a bloody story; just tell me what you want.

-Anyway, that was just a rant; you can ignore all that. I shan’t go to see her; I’d only make things worse-

“Not if you just shut up you wouldn’t.”

-and it’s sure to just blow over anyway like the last time. Anyway, how’s the money situation? Do you need some?

All my love all ways,


P.S. Did you buy the book?

B. needed some air; the windows were heavy and he was feeling weak so he headed up to the roof. He dangled his legs over the edge and lit a cigarette. He held his glass of wine in front of him, peering over it at the street below, estimating at what point he’d need let it go in order to maim or murder…three meals a day, roof over your head, no money worries, no fashions to fail to understand…the thought of burglary made him wince, but one could always practice beforehand.  Best not drop the glass yet then.



Dear B.,

I am writing to you with regards your letter detailing the trouble you appear to be having in retrieving your money from one of our nationwide and extremely accessible cashpoint machines; no other bank offers so great a number of these machines as us. I am fully aware however, that the number may as well be zero for all the good they’re doing you, sir.

As you know our recently cleaned system may well have suffered an extremely rare transmogrification when reassembled following the crucial cleaning process; it now recognises neither your name nor your card number, and sadly I have been unable to attempt recognition of your address, as provided for the purpose of this return letter, for the simple yet decisive reason that it is not the one you initially used when setting up the account. Could you please rectify this with all due expediency.

Thank you in anticipation.




Dear B.,

Thank you very much for sending in the address with which you used to set up your account with us. Sadly it was unsuccessful in being recognised.

Kind regards,




Dear B.,

My apologies sir, for the previous letter; it was posted too soon. Whilst I would indeed love to set up another account for you, I’m afraid that that is impossible due to the fact that your details are already in use with a live account; in order to set up a new account we would have to access your current account in order to close it down, but of course if we could access your current account there would be no need to close it down as that is the very thing we’re looking for.

It seems that my department has done all they can do with regards this matter; we are in a position, however, to pass all this information on to the appropriate department that will be able to deal with the problem, and they will contact you as soon as we have alerted them.-

An hour had passed. B. began pacing his room. It closes in on him in a beautifully detailed way; the grains in the wood wave to him; the humming of the heater tells him in which direction he should walk; the chandelier displays each one of its arms…grace, as a word, is inadequate; any manifestation of thought into physical presence is going the wrong way. The thought that is B. leaves his room and travels down the corridor; the glowing walls of his mind channel this thought past the myriad rooms of distraction, with each successfully answered question the corridor gets wider, the walls glow brighter, the carpet displays every fibre of its being as it interacts with the soul of B.’s feet; next floor; the train of thought is ready for the subsequent level of enlightenment; carpet throbs; interconnecting doors flow open and inch shut; you know this; where is the question; the end of the corridor is reached, the idea of going back downstairs aches B.’s very core, the idea of ascending to the next is preposterous; turn around, you have not finished with this level; you know this; it’s not all sunshine and skittles, sometimes it’s brutal and self-immolating; answer the question; what is it you think you are doing; B. is getting somewhere, this thought’s got legs; this is a beautiful place to be, it’s not as tired and worn down as it once seemed but an hour before; enjoy it; what is your obsession with time; B. needs a point of reference; what is your obsession with time; answer the question; there is no question; correct answer; what has been answered; next floor, this is the top floor, this is a heightened place to be; there is superiority up here, there is knowledge, it is everywhere, there is no need to look; B. is maintaining, B. is connected; fear of communication with a fellow human being does not exist up here; all is known; all is present; what is your obsession with time; what is it you think you are doing; what is it…you think…you are doing; maintaining; for what purpose; to avoid doing; you lame shit; there’s a fearful place that has yet to be explored, it has been ignored, B. must go there; it means sinking back through the lower reaches; it’s located on the other side of the hotel; purposefully to remind B. what it feels like to pass back past the doors leading to the physically constructed world; he can stay in these corridors for as long as he wishes; his legs will not ache, he will not feel hunger, he will not need sleep, there is a genuine job of maintenance that needs to be carried out; but this is not the top floor; this is not knowledge; this is not the reason; B. must go to the place he fears, for he cannot stay here; his core aches, he yawns, his legs ache, moving from one phase to the next, this is exhausting; the carved wooden steps await him, his eyes are alert, his legs cease to ache; this is a beautiful room, there is nothing to fear here; why have you created this; what is it you think you are doing; why have you created this; the carvings so vivid; B. needs fresh air; he sees it through the leaded glass; his vision doubles again at the thought of going back downstairs; again a yawn accompanies the movement to the next phase; temperature is not considered; why have you created this; B. turns to look at the construction of his mind…it’s beautiful…what are you going to do with it.

-Kind regards,




64 Comments Add yours

  1. mikesteeden says:

    Sir, it seems I too have much reading to partake of – Great Stuff!

    1. Well if you’re looking for drivel…

  2. WilderSoul says:

    Enthralling. Thank you for the journey into the hallways of your brilliant mind. I hope that B. finds the fearful place that has not been explored, from the place of no fear within his beautiful mind. Excepting of course if that fearful place is where he kills himself or others… There is something that is more fearful than Death, and that is Love. While sometimes, facing Life can require more courage, than contemplating death. I am so glad you wrote Part Two, before, you know, not writing so much here any more. I find it not at all dull… quite the opposite.

    1. Well thank you very much for your detailed reply…there was nothing to fear in the fearful place; just an introspective truth that had been ignored too long.

      I hope to get one last thing out later…as silly one.

      1. WilderSoul says:

        Nothing like a silly one to go out with a flourish… 😉

        1. Well that’s what I thought; and it’s six minutes; people gotta work for it.

        2. WilderSoul says:

          Why hello there! What a nice surprise!
          Six minutes? Sounds like an audio file, is it there already?

        3. Not yet; it’s a youtube video with images and everything; I have only a bit part, done a long time ago…have you seen Withnail & I?

        4. WilderSoul says:

          No, I haven’t had the (pleasure?) yet… Should I? Is it on your YouTube channel?

        5. It’s a film from the 80s; it’s hilarious, it’s my favourite film of all time; you should watch it now…right now.

        6. WilderSoul says:

          Right. Hehe. Are you at work at 2am? You could watch it with me!!! har har…

        7. I am, but I’ve really got a big chunk of stuff to do, both work and home related, sorry; I shouldn’t really be doing this post!!

        8. WilderSoul says:

          You are a hard worker… don’t let me hold you up 🙂 I will probably watch it later… Looking forward to your post! I’ll be looking for your cameo appearance.

        9. WilderSoul says:

          Woohoo! I’m coming over to have a look! 😀

        10. WilderSoul says:

          Thank you! I will have to view it again to spot your cameo appearance…. unless it was that slightly off-time, slightly loud-ish voice that subtly insinuated itself throughout the script, which somehow gave the subliminal impression that it was all about Le Clown in some way or another.

        11. Nothing gets past you now does it……

        12. WilderSoul says:

          (What was that going over my head?)

        13. I think it was part 3…you didn’t happen to see where it went did you?

        14. WilderSoul says:

          Truly? Part three? No… I didn’t see where it flew to… (cooorrrrr…..)

        15. Ah well…maybe it’ll make another pass one day.

        16. WilderSoul says:

          A double pass can be useful for movies.

        17. Well that’s a bit of a bummer that I’m not writing a movie.

        18. WilderSoul says:

          Well, why not, I say, young man?!
          I seem to be putting people off by mentioning such things, so at risk of never hearing the unique and original “Cooooorrrrrr….” ever again, except on playback, might I ask if you have ever considered writing a movie for the Bible book of Revelation?

        19. That would most likely involve having to read the bible though, yes?

        20. WilderSoul says:

          Weeelllll…. only one book of it, technically.

        21. WilderSoul says:

          There are dragons… ?

        22. WilderSoul says:

          Well, maybe just one that falls out of the sky…

        23. Any particular reason that you’re commissioning this work?

        24. WilderSoul says:

          Commissioning… sounds like I’m in a Batman movie!! O.O
          Probably sounds mean – this particular book if broadcast exactly as it stands (not fictionalized or added to or changed to suit anyone’s purpose) would upset an awful lot of people. Mainly religious and political sorts who like to get away with misleading people, and doing awful things.

        25. WilderSoul says:

          That’s not the reason though. I am not wanting to do it to be mean. It probably might seem that way to some people though.

        26. WilderSoul says:

          So I guess the reason is to give hope to people oppressed by religious and political powers and the state of the commercial world today. It has a happy ending.
          I love happy endings…

        27. No it’s a completely good thing, and there will be many who would hate it, not just those who wield the power but also the hoards who believe what they’re fed…changing the world sounds like a lot of work though…

        28. WilderSoul says:

          It is… too much for little old me on my own….

        29. Do you have any specific examples of the use by ne’er-do-wells of revelations? You know, to save me looking it up…

        30. WilderSoul says:

          Do you mean other movies that have been made? Or the interpretations that are bandied about?

        31. WilderSoul says:

          I see… hmm.
          Let me compile a list. I would not like to be hasty.

        32. WilderSoul says:

          What always comes to mind first is the phrase, “It’s the Devil’s book.”

        33. I like the idea…I like all your ideas…I worry that our motives may clash though.

        34. WilderSoul says:

          What would be your motive? 😉 I wonder if I can half guess right….. !?

        35. You’re a believer and I am not; this difference may well not lead to a cohesive film. Who else have you asked?

        36. WilderSoul says:

          Religious people are worse for creating a cohesive film, because they have their own set ways of “interpreting” it, rather than a desire to show it exactly how it is. So, umm… I think the last person I asked properly was a circus performer and of a certain Christian cum Gnostic faith.

        37. I don’t know that a gnostic would stoop so low as to make a film!? But to get a circus performer would be a coup…I shall track down a bible at some point.

        38. WilderSoul says:

          Cool. Easiest one for distinguishing characters is probably this one:
          Although I notice there is a 2013 revision… I can’t vouch for that one, as I haven’t read it yet!

        39. I can’t imagine the revision will make the need for change obsolete…

        40. WilderSoul says:

          The only change is constant… err.. something like that…

        41. WilderSoul says:

          I thought that circus performers would make beautiful dragons and angels, with aerial stunts.

        42. WilderSoul says:

          Haha… someone would have to play an authentic Devil. I kind of reckon that people outside of religion may do a better job of it, as they would possibly not have so many inhibitions about doing a good job of it!! 😉

        43. I’d imagine you could get enough real footage of genuine devils knocking about the place!

    1. That is a yummy looking pie…I’m glad my tag went to some use!

  3. This is like taking a stroll through the innermost workings of a corporate financial institution… on acid…

    1. Well there’s nothing wrong with your skills of interpretation.

  4. Trent Lewin says:

    Babbage. I would level several compliments at you, in quick succession, but then I would have to hit the bottle and scavenge up a few words so silky and well-placed. Silky and well-placed. You will have to settle for that. Jesus what a trip. Stream of consciousness and freight train progression into the fucking side of a mountain made of bad dreams and suppositions that suck at you like allergies, the really bad kind.

    I think, as far as what I can offer might go, that you need to write long fiction. Write a book. Publish it. Become famous. Don’t forget your fans. Don’t forget that you remain my hero hereabouts.

    1. I’d never forget you Lewin; thank you for not scavenging for the words; ’tis beneath you; freight train into mountain does it for me anyway. I plan to write my book; I started a while back and wrote a fair whack, I don’t know where it is though, but I imagine it wasn’t great anyway so I’ll just start again.

      1. Trent Lewin says:

        I would love to read it. Plus away my man. Your voice is needed.

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