Marking the Defeated Michael Lydon Flash Fiction

Marking the Defeated by Michael Lydon | Flash Fiction Week

The next piece in Wales Arts Reviews’ celebration of flash fiction writing is Marking the Defeated, by writer and academic Michael Lydon.

You know that ink you see on your way home from work, or out walking the dog, or while blowing some fuck at the back of a Tesco. It looks like some idiot emptied their can in a shit attempt at ‘D’Ron was here’, or ‘Fuck United’, or some bullshit like that. Shit graffiti that some smart-fucks think might be taggin’ or crap. You know, some way to mark some arsehole’s area, and keep other arseholes out. Attenborough bullshit, like pissing on a tree to keep fucking badgers away. No. That’s not what that ink is. I know what that ink is. It’s our way of marking the defeated. You know who I mean, the broken few who walk among us. The shelf-stacker who hates her prick husband and arsehole kids. The late night mini-cab driver sick of cleaning up shit, puke and piss. The limp-dick lawyer whose missus is fucking his boss. Not the dead already, the junkies or homeless piss stained wankers. What good would they be! No, what we mark is those who keep moving. Day after day, after day. Those who go to their shit jobs, who clean their shit house, or shit car. Those whose mask is always on. Whose soul is gone, but who keep moving. You don’t see. But we do. And then we mark them. With what to you looks like mindless vandalism, we communicate all. We point to where they live and work. To who they buy their weed or smack off. We even know when they go home, and what haunts them while there. And why do we mark? Well that’s easy. So we can own. You see, we see what you don’t. We see the cracks and live in it. We mark what they need, what is missing in them. And then? We show them we can provide it. We give them a glimmer of hope, and feed. Money, sex, shit like that. It’s all there for the taking. But that’s not why we do it. No, we do it for the power. For the knowledge. Cause you see from our place in the cracks we gather all. We know all. And you know what? We are everywhere, from South-Kensington to Cathays. From Boscombe, to the fucking Inverness. But don’t get me wrong, we’re not all bad. We don’t give a fuck of politics, race, religion or any of that bullshit. All are equally marked from the cracks. Also, and this is important, there is the few we help. Those whose mark points to freedom. Or better again, points to us! You see, some are pulled from the cracks. Ripped from defeat! And then we build them anew. We give them eyes to see, and ears to hear. For them special few, we give our language, so that they too can mark. So that they can own. And you want to know how I know? Well that’s simple. I was once a marked defeated. This is my story …


Marking the Defeated by Michael Lydon is part of a Wales Arts Review series publishing original flash fiction pieces by some of Wales’ top authors in a celebration of the unique literary genre and National Flash Fiction Day.