The Horny Insomniac

by Katie McCullough

Henry always found himself the last awake in the house once all the doors were locked, the children put to bed and the windows shut firmly and secure. His groggy dial-up connection would flicker the images (some of which moved jerkily) and because he’d watched them many times over he used to concentrate on the background details like the mismatched furnishings, the reachable towel and the bare tiled floors. Other times he’d make a coffee and transcribe the dialogue from the lurid pop-ups he watched the most and he began to assign the girls names, occupations, hobbies and dislikes. He stopped wearing his "easy-access" pyjamas and even began to wear his glasses so he could see in more definition; the Internet upgrade he debated on for so long made all the difference and he’d watch all the way through to the end amid the grunts and murmurs. He’d even taken to painting screen stills on to canvasses (Henry had been an avid painter in his day you see) and became very attached to them once finished but of course knew they’d have to go in the basement along with the others; Lydia thought it best not to scare the children. Soon the basement became crammed with snapshots of orifices, limbs and liquid appreciation and it soon transpired that the only way he could sleep was in the static company of Susan who loved to bake and surf at the weekend, Leonora who was partial to a gin and tonic but despised her next-door neighbours, Judith (she was his favourite) who was coy but loved to discuss politics and last but not least Gerry who had the smooth skin of a peach and the taste of cherry tobacco.

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Katie McCullough is a screenwriter and playwright whose tools of choice are her hands and anything to write with (as well as her mouth to talk to people). She's a graduate of Bournemouth Media School and The Royal Court, London, and has had several readings at the ICA and Theatre Royal, Stratford East. Her website is here.