Happiness isn’t something I do. In fact, it’s the antithesis of what I’m all about. I’m the guy you see reading Byron on the back steps, smoking clove cigarettes in a ruffled, lace shirt. The guy with the eyeliner and the black nail polish.

I’m a Goth; we don’t do happy.

But since I heard that song, the one about clapping hands, I can’t get it out of my head.

Yesterday, I woke up smiling. Smiling? Me?

You don’t get it, do you? I live in a world of cynicism, sorrow and tragic romanticism. Smiling, genuinely smiling, is the kind of thing they can take your membership away for and then where would I be? Devoid of my smug sarcasm?

I don’t even know where I heard it. My music is all heavy eye make-up, wailing women, and dark bass lines. My sister was probably playing it in her room, tormenting me with its dulcet beat and enticing lyrics.

This morning, I caught myself whistling. Even painted my fingernails red; I didn’t notice until the late afternoon.

That song’s messing with my brain or something. Darkness and dismay don’t excite me like they used to. Now, instead of relishing in the futility of life, I have a spring in my step when I stroll down the street.

Stroll? Oh, Dark lord!

I used walk with gait that could be best described as forlorn. My back hunched under the crushing weight of the world. It was a good walk, a Goth’s walk.

But, since that song…

That tormenting song…


Because I’m happy…


Okay, I suppose this needs a bit of an explanation. I put a challenge to another writer (one who will not write short stories) to create a story with the prompt “When my grandmother taught me to crochet, I don’t think she realised she was endangering my life”.

On reflection, I thought it was a little mean and so, as penance, I allowed a prompt to be set for me. I wasn’t expecting: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams was my favorite song until it became the story of my life.

I may have taken liberties with the favourite part.

10 thoughts on “Tormented

      1. Yes, there’s something wonderfully creepy about their smiles and upbeat natures. I think it makes them all them more frightening, and that kind of creative twist I find charming.

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