New book by Chris Sandford "Four Fathers" now available
About the Author
Chris Sandford was born in 1978 and lives in St Helens, Merseyside. In 2007, Chris was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. He also suffers from OCD, BDD and an eating disorder that was either linked to OCD, autism or something else!
Chris graduated from Leeds University in 2005 and in 2010, he founded Neutral Ground, a sports group which aims to create a safe haven for people with mental health related issues.
He wrote ‘Four Fathers’ to give a voice to mental health sufferers. Sandford is a keen mental health advocate and has aided various mental health projects and charities
A personal, dark and humourous story, divided into the days of a tragic week, set in a nameless town and told mainly through the eyes of two brothers – Scott, a 16 year old paranoid schizophrenic, who has been abused by every father-figure in his life, and with the aid of a variety of disturbing voices, finds himself tumbling head-first, down a dark, uncontrollable and irresistible path. – James, a writer who suffers from OCD and anxiety, who finds himself overwhelmed with guilt and worthlessness as he struggles to keep his anxiety under control, make sense of his life, save his brother and commit to his broken family.
I woke up late…real late. I watched Spiderman 2 twice before going to bed. When I finally got to blissful sleep, Kirsten Dunst became Becky, and I was Peter Parker, but like he says…I am Spiderman no more! Stop wishing, start living, stop wishing, start living…wishing…living…? I know one thing…I wish I was living!
I’m alive at least, so I got out of bed and opened the curtains, just a little to see if the tree still has its roots firmly planted in our front garden. I couldn’t decide whether it was the leader, ruler of all trees or their scout, their look out. Either way, I was growing tired of its interfering ways. It has neither thanked me nor praised me, nor has it given me any new instructions since Saturday Night/Sunday morning and I almost felt let down, abandoned by an unwanted friend. I fling open the curtains, feeling brave, needing some kind of confrontation but all I saw was Becky’s window. She’ll be in school about now…it’s probably her dinner hour. I was supposed to be in college, but that’s not going to happen today. ; When she left me yesterday, I felt sick, wondering if I’d ever speak to her again alone, whether I would ever see her again, perhaps in her school uniform, grab her, kiss her and put my hand inside her pink… I realised I was naked, quickly getting a hard-on, so I closed the curtains, stopped wishing, put on yesterdays boxers, walked to the bathroom and took a long piss. I checked my reflection in the mirror (still there) and walked quietly down the stairs seriously intent on starting living today.
There’s a message for me in the kitchen, written on the brilliant chalk board. How could one live without it! It’s from James. They’ve gone to sort out the funeral arrangements at the funeral home. I wondered if all funeral homes look like the Fisher’s in Six Feet Under. It’s weird…my life, our life is so much like theirs. For example, James had arrived home, fresh from our fourth father’s death, to take over the family, just like Nate (although he’ll be leaving again soon). My Mum’s off her head like Mrs Fisher. We have a sister (half) and two brothers in the family, just like them, but…but which of us is the fruit? I kinda liked that David even though he’s a…and his er his boyf…his boyfrrr…frrrr…his mate Keith is alright I suppose…bet my fourth father has already been embalmed! Good fucking riddance. There are a couple of things that are different though. We don’t live in a great big house, and have loads of sex and perfect teeth and hair and money and cars and…and they aren’t tentatively taunted and haunted by a small, devious cat that mocks and mocks, licking itself all day until I can’t…won’t take any more. Judgement day is upon us and it’s going to be nasty, I have the feeling I, my family…we’re not all going to survive it. They’ve all gone to the funeral home so I was going to enjoy myself also…I was going to the library.
All rights reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, documentary, film or in any other format without prior written permission of the publisher.
PO Box 6872
Essex CM13 1ZT
Copyright © Chris Sandford 2012
Edited by Faith Mmadubuike
Chipmunkapublishing gratefully acknowledge the support of Arts Council England.