Sugar; a quick hit of the unrefined, the cereal cerebral suspended animation. Recreational drug of the hyperactive. Lifesaver of the insomniac.

You had to know what you were doing when it came to sugar, an uncalculated comedown could be painful.

Berry weighed out the granules on a small, hypersensitive scale, making sure that the exact amounts were strictly adhered to.

Starting with an average bowl, she poured out a single serving. This was her baseline of thirty grams.

She added a further two hundred and fifty millilitres of Hype energy drink and exactly fifteen teaspoons of sugar.

It was a tried and tested formula, the perfect amount to prevent the honeyed oats from sticking to the roof of her mouth.

Her metabolism was in overdrive.

She thrived off this diet of dry cereal and sweets.

Twelve minutes after consumption, Berry knew that she would feel fucking awesome.

Cereal was all she ever consumed. She was constantly snacking, but despite the extreme sugar intake, she looked fragile on first impression.

She embraced the glucose overdose and became a shadow of her unsweetened self.

Berry’s flat was a cocoon of the contemporary, a collection that would never be complete. Every available space was loaded with toys, icons and games.

Her hunger was insatiable.

She collected TV box sets and special edition DVDs like they were essential to saving the human race.

Magazines and discs were scattered on the floor.

At first glance you might ask where the checkouts were.

Then you might wonder how much the burglars had gotten away with.

She was a consumer, a user, a pop culture leech, and she had created a life that enabled some well-trodden agoraphobic and reclusive tendencies.

In her daydreams, she lived in a small cottage in the Scottish Highlands, where her interaction with the outside world was the fortnightly delivery of food and paint supplies, followed by a passionate night with the delivery girl.

In another fantasy, she lived in Paris, among the intellectual elite, where she lost herself to the depths of artistic melodrama and engaged in frantic orgies with fellow bohemians.

Then there was the one about that post-apocalyptic future where zombies roamed the streets and going out after dark was a death sentence. This one was her favourite. A survival bag was packed for the very eventuality and she had already planned her escape route to the coast. 

When she wasn’t dreaming, she lived in a small bedsit in Loughborough Junction, South London, and existed only for her video games and perfect isolation.

Berry stood by the window, crunching, pulling the curtains to scan the early morning for movement.

The road was quiet.

Television filled the silence but she never watched it.

She was permanently logged in to Atari Shock. The player-feed spooled layers of information. War was raging online.

‘Player-feed: GreySkull teleports into game space range. GreySkull launches +100 nuke attack on The Immortal.’

Liked it? Take a second to support Carvalho Burgess on Patreon!