The virus drifts, a long silk rope that winds in a loop deep within the man’s lower intestine.
Stuck here for days, embedded within the rotting meat of a cheap beef pie that the man has bought from an old mom and pop’s general store on the way home from his job at Johnson & Hibbard—‘The Tax Specialists’— the virus knows patience. In its limited way, it understands that the body encasing it is not, by and large, a strong body.
The virus unfurls and releases the initial infection.
John shot Sarah a look, gesturing impatiently for her to follow. ‘Come on! We’re getting close.’
She rolled her eyes and smiled, but started to pick up the pace. ‘Sure thing, Boss man. Whatever you say.’ She mock bowed, hinging at the waist as they walked. She was sweating profusely.
‘No sass today, thanks,’ he said, striding along a micrometre in front. ‘You wanted to come. We gotta be there by sundown; if we’re not, we won’t be allowed to join.’ He stared down the tracks at the dark line in the distance. The horizon was nearer now, drawing into slow focus.
A crowd of teens lined the cliff face, bodies turned away from John and Sarah, faces looking down. They were silent.
Jeff Buckley's still dead
And these wine bottles are empty.
is floating — gently.
and raw, firey chorus
Pours no more
from his lips,
but digitally, for us.
and fury — now laid dim.
He said his 'Last Goodbye'.
We barely knew him.
I’m still working on Smarmbeard, so until then, here’s a short extract from a novel I’ve been struggling with.
* * *
It was a common enough problem: Sarah had no motivation to get out of bed. Warm and cozy in her eiderdown cocoon, in her world of lemon-scented fabric detergent and flannel sheeting, her body felt weightless; her arms, legs and head were bits of heavy-packing foam, like the stuff she’d once seen at that decrepit self-storage unit years previously.
She and Zoe had been moving house at the time. Continue reading
‘I found you lying by the side of road. From the moment I saw you, I was in love.’
I looked down at the huddled form. Held her there with my eyes.
Please, she seemed to say, I’m so hungry.
She could not speak. Circumstances dictated she would not.
‘I brought you home. Kept you warm. Made this your home.’
I gestured at the dank crawlspace.
You’re cruel. So cruel. Someone will find me.
No one would find us here.
She shivered, slowly crawling back against the stone wall.
A dripping of water.
My voice changed:
‘You had an … accident. I got you fixed. You ran away.’
In my hands, the length of chain tightened. Continue reading
From my vantage point, I watch the two men. Watch and listen.
‘What the fuck you doing, Roustabout?’
That’s the Italian, Montello. He’s your typical dimebag scum-dweller, easily bought at any of the local, cheap stereotype outlets – bars, pubs, any dwelling where big burly men loom and wield the phrase ‘fuggedaboutit’ like it’s punctuation.
It was a testament to the all-corrupting nature of money that the other man, Roustabout, would even occupy the same space as this ‘type. Ah well – his problem. You roll the dice and sometimes all you see are bullet holes. Continue reading