the pearl


Mushrooms in a tiny little bag. Silk Cuts sliced up the side and re-rolled with chunks of hashish. Blotter acid in an envelope. Lines of coke on a mirror.

Arthur was handed drugs by grinning boys, grinning gorgeous boys with smudged eyeliners and ruby-red lips. Drugs, and sex, and more often than not, Arthur couldn't tell the difference.

Lips pressed against his, tasting of cheap wine and cheaper cigarettes. Hands sliding up his inner thighs as the moldly dry taste of mushrooms sticks in his mouth and the world starts to slide.

He can still hear the music in the background, shrieking guitars crashing against raw vocals, like a glorious car wreck, flaming and sparking as they drive off to oblivion.

It calls to him. He moves away from the sex, from the sin, from the new-found gorgeous sensual creatures he now calls his friends, and sits right next to the speakers, staring at the fabric with wide-pupiled eyes as he listens.

Listens and observes and learns and follows and smashes into love. Full-blown incredibly gorgeous love. It kills him, captures him, traps him within his heart, all to the sound of one man, a guitar, and pain.

This Velvet Goldmine story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at