‘Only then dae ah decide tae bow tae fate by steppin through the automated double doors.’

Readers of Colin Burnett’s A Working Class State of Mind will be happy to hear that he has just published a follow up novel, Who’s Aldo? Catch up with him here in this extract before heading to the bookshop!


Who’s Aldo?
By Colin Burnett
Published by Tippermuir Books


Inside Out 


The mere sight ae the Royal Edinburgh Psychiatric Hoaspital is almost enough tae make me brek oot in a cauld sweat. Mean, tae the average punter, likes, this institution represents itself as a marvel ae twinty-first century engineerin. A fuckin grand monument tae picturesque mental health. Even though it is Edinburgh’s answer tae Arkham Asylum, it doesnae half gie oaff the impression ae a warm and welcomin environment. Unfortunately though, fur the cooncil that is, ah’ve watched films like Shutter Island, and they’ve helped in gaitherin enough information tae ken the only hing these places sell are nightmares. 

Ah stand ootside the entrance wae ma nerves aw frayed, fumblin aboot in ma poackets tryin tae locate ma lighter tae spark up a soothin ciggie. Yince baith boaxes are eventually ticked oaff, ah take a deep drag and exhale, efter which ma eyes start tae wander as ah’m confined in a daze watchin the smoke swirl in the air. Ah then focus oan the inmates’ loved yins arrivin, each yin ae thum equipped wae what ah judge tae be hame comforts fur the respective patients. Insteed ae smoothin oor ma concerns the sight ae thum only accelerates ma anxiety levels cos ah kin see the trail ae terror and worry creepin in behind thum, like masel, ah mean. They appear hesitant tae step oan the set ae the live action version ae the Looney Tunes. Wae the shape ae their eyes they probably possess between thum mair bags than Heathrow Airport. Efter ah’m finished taken twinty years oaff ma life ah flick the fag tae the groond before crushin the butt under ma fit. Only then dae ah decide tae bow tae fate by steppin through the automated double doors. 

Fae the very first second ah kin seethe interior hus under-went somewhat ae a transformation. It’s now become a relaxin and therapeutic settin, yin that wid even send that Charlie Sheen oan the road tae recovery. Soft lightnin, vivid seaside colours and some greenery in the form ae plants create this illusion. They’ve probably even forked oot some dough oan providin the inmates wae a new chew toy and a bed frame tae go wae their mattress. Still, ah remain hilehertedly unconvinced cos cunts wae nae respect fur laws or human life very likely roam these corridors unchecked. And ah’m no talkin aboot they fuds who flow through the Hooses ae Parliament. Which is why ah’ve decided tae investigate whether the décor is matched by the customer service…a thoat that spurs me oan tae advance taewards the reception desk. 

Ma first introduction tae the death eaters who keep every-boady in line compels ma boady temperature tae plummet as this tall boay wae hollow eyes greets me. The mere sight ae him leaves me wonderin whether ah should hae garlic aroond ma beefy neck. It’s no a stretch tae confess this boay wid keep the Brothers Grimm awake at night. Ah pass him ma visitin order which he takes withoot declarin a word. Demostratin the people skills ae Osama Bin Laden at a fourth ae July firework display, his grubby finger points tae the large deserted seated area and ah recognise this is where ah’m meant tae wait. Ah oblige his command by trottin oor there and plantin ma erse doon. Restin up ah decide that they kin pin as many abstract paintings tae the wahs that they want, nuttin kin sway the vibes ah’m gittin that bein under loack and key in this facility is worse than any illness. 

Ah sit patiently, observin a diverse range ae members ae society arrive and exit the buildin. The telltale sign that they’re here oan their ain accord lies wae the fact that nane ae thum happen tae hae a leash attached tae their collar, which is why ah estimate that they’re either visitors or cunts employed by the hoaspital itsel. It’s no long before ah spoat a muscular wuman in a nice plum print blouse appear ootae thin air. She starts chattin tae Harold Shipman’s protégé at reception. Truth is, and yae might no believe me when ah tell yae this, but ah’m no ashamed tae admit this, likes, ah honestly reckon that she could bench press mair than me. 

Ah soon lift a mag oaff the small orange side table, quickly pressin it up against ma puss, hopin and prayin tae fuck that she’s no bein sent ma wey. Jist then ah kin hear the soond ae weighty fitsteps drawin in closer, threatnin noises that tell me ma future hus never looked bleaker. 

‘You’re Aldo?’ asserts the wuman in her deep strong voice. ‘I cannot believe you’re an actual person.’ 

Ah lower this pishy magazine and it’s official, ah’ve been paired up wae Miss Trunchbull fae Matilda.  


Who’s Aldo? by Colin Burnett is published by Tippermuir Books, priced £11.99.

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