Rosé Buds by Tiffany Swank ((S)exclusive extract)

Tiff Swank has got it all, only the universe hasn’t decided to give it all to her just yet. But she’s a fighter and she’ll work as hard as she can to get it. And by work she means being an absolute superstar and attending the best parties their are in Dublin City (southside obvs). If this opening chapter doesn’t get you racing to the shops to by the full book than you probably have a screw loose and most likely need a wash too.

Chapter 1
The Morning After

I don’t know how gay lads do it. I’ve enough trouble getting jizz out of my bed and hair after a nocturnal romp with ONE erupting cock. They’ve to clean up from two. And that’s at least. Most of them have a general admissions policy on their beds. Chat to any queer, jiggling his denim hot-pants-ed arse on a dance floor, and they’ll tell you that if they bring home just one lad they might as well as be wanking solo.

Himself from last night had bolted pretty much after our entwinement. And that’s fine with me. He was nothing special. I like big men. This was a boy. It’s like eating an egg when you really want a cooked chicken. But food is food and girl ya gotta eat.

I doubted there was anything in the fridge. I was supposed to do the shopping yesterday after work but being a wicked alco bitch I just went to Liza’s, my mate’s gaff, with three bottles of rosé. And bubbles destroy troubles. We changed into something less dull and zigzagged to the club, Bernardo’s. We’d been going there since our tits were big enough to impress the doormen. Bernardo’s is like a home for me. Some culchies would be all onion-breathed in exclaiming Croke Park their home. But for me and the girls, it’s Bernardo’s. Remember that show Cheers and they’d say the pub is where everybody knew your name. Well in Bernardo’s everyone knows my name, what I drink and for the half of them, what me minge and hole look like.

Liza is a beast of a woman. Don’t get me wrong she’s a total slut and an excellent pal but she’s built like a carnival strong man. I’ve seen her lift bar stools over her head and fling them at a gang of cowards that called her a cow. That’s a real woman, someone that can fight their own battles. Just a fyi, if you want to avoid a conflict with her just always buy an extra portion of chips “for the table”. But I love her to bits and pieces. And we’ve made a pact that if we’re both still single in ten years time we’ll les up as a pair a gash hounds. It was supposed to be a joke but she’s taking it seriously. She’ll sometimes not shower or shave and wear them caterpillar boots. Cool the jets hun, we’re not dykers yet.

Saturday mornings always made me feel like a tampon machine in the ladies that’d after been kicked to shit to ruffle the coins out of it. I felt spent and hollow. I rifled the bed for my phone, I wanted to text Liza to hear about the narrow rip of piss she brought home last night and guilt her to call over here with remedies and pizza. And what’s more, I wanna tell her all about the goss from last night. It’s Earth-Shattering! I don’t know much about politics or science but what I know about who is who in Dublin and this IS A GAME CHANGER! That cow will not want to miss this. No one would!

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Do Fear the Reaper – Danny Cannon (Exclusive Extract)

Exclusive Explosive Extract
We are pleased to share with you the opening chapter of Danny Cannon’s (the author) latest page-ripping thriller Do Fear The Reaper. Danny Cannon (the Character) is tasked with infiltrating the most dangerous, home grown, radicalized terrorists group: Hippies. Who if left unabated would destroy all the great progress our corporations have made.

It’s hard not to feel too clean in a place like this. I’m far from the fanciest stud in the ranch but next to these “artists” I’m immaculate. I could literally taste their sweat, stank and musk yards before I even got in to this “Art Space”. A canny name for any building whose ownership has gone into disrepute and taken over. Tonight the freaks and work-shys were convening for a “Poetry” Night. Every ragtag straggler that could string a few words together was here. I panned over them and their glossy eyes as they prepared their “takedowns” of big business and globalisation. I could hardly hear CEOs quaking in their boots. It was far from the night out I’d have planned for myself. But it was an assignment and I was finding it very hard to relax having returned from security detail in Dubai. I was better working, even if it was in the bowels of society.

I pushed my way through to the throngs, dodging the fleas and lice to a spot at the back. The crowd were facing the empty “stage”, an apple box and a microphone hanging off its stand, waiting for the first “rhymer” to disseminate the pillars of civilisation. I had to laugh. A pair of scruffs edged in front of me. They looked like a couple but I was at a loss which was the Man and which was his Woman. They both looked liked they’d climbed through a few ditches to get here. They were sharing a plastic bottle of cider in recyclable cups. The shorter one’s fuzzy dreads dipping in to the cup as “she” knocked the scrumpy back. I turned away. I had a bottle of American Whiskey inside my Motorbike jacket and a few quick pulls of that had the sting taken out of my eyes.

A dippy young one, with green hair and a pair of over-sized boots that made her look like a clown, took to the “stage”. She mumbled her way through her introductions. Thanking people before the night had even started. I had to laugh. She initiated a round of applause for the first “act” with the proficiency of a two legged greyhound. I took the aural blanket as a “poet” walked out with his toothy grin to get back to the case at hand.

I had still had sand in my boots when I was approached by the party representing Senator Wilson. I knew very little about him save for his achievements in property development and thus knew I could trust him. He was due to retire and his organisation were planning a farewell, testimonial-style dinner for him. One last, deserved, passing around of the cap. But his people wanted to be certain there would be no maggots in the margaritas so they called me. Sen. Wilson had a, very ungrateful, granddaughter. She turned her septum pierced nose up at everything he gave her and fell in with these dirt worshipping hippies. And for all their shit talking about peace and love they have an unnecessary penchant for big “political” protests. I had to neutralise this selfish freak before she released a load of “fat cats” at Sen. Wilson’s retirement dinner. Or whatever tenuous, big statement they were planning with all the time they weren’t spending at work. Only thing was I didn’t have anything but a description of her, and that fit with every one of these “radicals” here.

The pube-bearded man-child finished his drool poem about Starbucks and left to the opposite of deafening applause. The clown girl stumbled back out to thank everyone again. I was starting to worry that due to the needless reverence of the proceedings I’d have to wait until after the “poetry” for the obligatory mingling and feigned congratulations to question and prod these soap dodgers for intel. I reached for my American Whiskey at the thought of that. When the clown girl invited Misty Terra Wilson Marley to the “stage”. I spun my head around as the short stinker with the soggy dags from earlier adjusted the microphone.
“Hi.” She muttered into the side of the microphone. “I’m very nervous so if you can help me with the good energies we can all get through this as one. This first poem is called “Sins of the Grandfather”.”
Bingo. Target acquired. I felt relief that she’s was finally in my cross-hairs. And then dread as she took out about an inch thick stack of crumpled paper from her patchy saddle bag.
This is going to be a long fucking night.

Do Fear the Reaper may return but I wouldn’t bet on it being any time soon.

The President is Pissing – Exclusive Extract

From the Brand New Thriller by James “Potboiler” Patterson and “Honest” Bill Clinton. Patterson has blasted through 49 books in his young career, he hasn’t had an idea that he hasn’t written a book about. And Sax Master Bill is the husband of Hillary Clinton, 2nd choice USA President, and before that the President himself for 8 long years of carpet bombing and minimum sentencing. Now they’ve set their great minds together to write a thriller full of political espionage, intrigue and small bladders.

The oath I swore when I was inaugurated as President was to do whatever I say fit to protect this Beautiful nation. But at this House Hearing, I felt like I was the only one that cared.

These weak-willed, yellow bellied pencil pusher on The Hill would rather play it safe than take action. “The intel isn’t strong enough” Senator Wizeal had said. The intel isn’t strong? Do they think the great brave men of Bravo Team had just scribbled it on a cocktail napkin and tossed it over to us without a care. Bravo Team fought hard for this intel. They made sacrifices that we, as Americans, will forever be in their debt for, although we will never truly know what the heroes’ names were. But America will be grateful. Because I am grateful. And I am the President of this great nation.

Sen. Wizeal on the other hand treats this country like an old folks’ home. A retirement centre where he doesn’t want to be disturbed. But what’d be worse: a police presence for a few days and some days of being vigilant and alert or to be dead? Call me old fashioned but I don’t wanna die. If my survival and continued pursuit of happiness means killing a handful of jihadis than that’s fine by me.

Sen.Wizeal was running his old mouth, he wanted to keep me here in this bloated Hearing than in the War Room making preparations. But the Senator talked the speed a one fingered man would type. “We can’t shut down the State Fair. Don’t you realise that the State Fair is the lifeblood of the community?” he droned “It’s the best chance many vendors, fry cooks and carnies have of making the lionshare of their income. I can’t allow that to be stopped for anything.”

He doesn’t get it. The honest Joes of the fair would rather take a raincheck than have to go home in many small body bags. But he doesn’t know what I know. Mahmood Al Jazeer doesn’t care about money, incomes or our beloved capitalism. He’d love to bomb a state fair so it’d resemble the rubble and dirt of his shithole country. But this wasn’t on Sen. Wizeal’s Security Clearance and to tell him would be to sacrifice many covert agents. So I had to endure the hot air of his filibuster.

Our hearing had started over three hours ago. By that time I’d drank over two jugs of American still water on top of the pint of milk and quart of OJ I had for breakfast and I was beginning to feel it putting up a fight below my stomach. “Oh please” I thought “Shut your mouth and let us be done with this pointless charade”. But I bit my tongue. It was a shame I wasn’t able to bite anything down below. I considered catching the fleshy lips of my penis in my zipper but forgoed that when I remembered I was circumcised. My bladder was swelling at an alarming rate but I knew more than anyone else here that were I to leave or excuse myself that would been seen by all as a sign of surrender.

But yet Sen. Wizeal continued to prattle on, now he was talking about the many deep fried food he and his constituents would enjoy on the thoroughfare. “Corn dog, delicious fried butter balls, a frozen Dr. Pepper or perhaps some chicken fries.” I couldn’t take it any longer, I’ve shifted and squirmed but there was no turning back the tide and the piss started trickling down my leg. The warmth and moisture dribbling through my suit trousers. I folded my legs in away that sent most of my stream towards the inner corner of the desk. I just let it flow. It was all I could do. Even the President can burst a pipe. But I did it to save this great state. Though no one would ever believe that. I knew I’d need some bigger scandal to avoid my legacy being tarnished as the “Piss Prez”. Maybe I could fuck some reporter.

That Hippy Lad – A Short Story

Ya know that dickhead from Irene Moore’s estate? Got into the hippie thing first. He thought he was hot shit and didn’t we all have to know about it. He grew his hair long and got some buddie that was going to London to buy him one of those scraggy hoodies. The scratchy ones ya know that seem to be unwashable. Or maybe stinking is just their choice. Ya’d see him the odd times with a tower records bag sitting at the bus stop on Eden Quay. Before they moved it to Abbey street. I prefer Abbey now. You weren’t standing out on the river like a show for all to see. He got the bus on those cold saturdays were the sun’d heave right into your eyes. On those days where no matter what you had in you account you’d not enough for what ya wanted to get. And you’d have to sling your hook back home with a “maybe next week”. It was always that dickhead that’d be in a good mood. He would sit on the bus and look at whatever darkly coloured CD he’d bought, brimming. How’d he keep that up I didn’t know. But he did.

His mother must have been ran loose with that bleeding guitars and all hippy shit blaring out of his room from morning to night. I’m glad my kids aren’t into anything that I don’t play for them first. I couldn’t be doing with that on top of all the other shit I do be having to do with them. The last thing you want is some hippie hymns screaming at ya around the house. Did you know they played that shit to the terrorists in the torture camps. That just goes to show you. The Army thinks that’s torture good enough for the taliban. That says it all.

I’ve never known anyone that’s been in his house. His Ma is a funny one. Irene says she’s all smiles when they catch each other in the street but would sooner die a thousand deaths than invite you in for a cup of tea. She can shove herself. Irene hadn’t heard about her husband roping himself til she seen it in the paper and that was the day the hearse came. Irene was out in the street in her pyjamas, some faded set with palm trees and Miami written on it  looking like a kid that’s been sent to bed too many times that night. Ya’d think Irene, a neighbour, the woman who lives four houses down for years, would be amongst some of the first to hear about it. But no, that bitch lives in her own world. Fuck her, her and her hippy son.

Oh yeah the thing was the last time I’d seen him was in Stephen’s Green. It was a summer back. One of the nice ones. I was walking through the centre bit looking for a seat to have me burger. I didn’t find a seat so had to lean on one of the fountains. I hate that. Any drunk or cruel could push me into the water and ruin everything about me. But I’d to take the risk cause I couldn’t wait any longer for my burger. Bit samey but it was alright in the end. Not great. But yeah i seen him, the hippy, sitting over by the bushes. Typical. And he was grinning like a sinner with a couple of other hippies he must have met on the streets or in the record shop. The were passing around something I’m sure. A big lump of dope or whatever the braindeads’d be killing themselves with. He must have thought that he was king of all asunder. I wasn’t impressed.

But yeah so just this last week I was in the vinny shop looking for something. Not for me. The mother-in-law. And I seen herself come in with a box and a half of hippie cds. Just dumped them in and then walked out in a strop. Not a glance or smile I got. I’m only Irene’s oldest friend. Irene, her neighbour. The woman that lives four doors down from her. That bitch lives in her own fucking world. Lucky though I didn’t say a thing to her about her son being a hippy and a drug addict. Nope. I’m not petty like that. I haven’t seen him around the bus in a while. Whatever. No skin off my nose.

by Mark Baldwin 2016

Slots Madaigan – A Short Story

A tattered, beer dripped tricolour whipped limply from the bedsit window of his privately run Dublin 2 apartment building. There wasn’t a match on and paddy’s was half a year away but Slots Madigan just wanted his world to know he was Irish. There were too many of “them lot” living around him now. Flats full of lads kipping after their night shifts, full families in two beds and orientals using coke a cola to cook up a hall-filling stink. You’d swear you weren’t in Ireland. People like him were now a minority in their own country. That fact, and his sweaty duvet, kept him awake at night. The New EU Order are out to dilute the continent into one mixed up race by opening the floodgates of every country and letting every Tom, Dick and Haji swarm the place. Our national identity is gone. Drowned in international waters in a blue bag poorly embroidered with a circle of useless stars. There’ll be a black lad reading the news soon enough. He didn’t have a problem with that if it was for their news but it was his news. News from his country, about his people, issues that affect him. He’s not involved with what happens in caves in the middle east, he’s got his own problems. Like them squatters in Ireland’s attic.

He’s only concerned about his safety. They could be letting all sorts of villains and scoundrels in. They need to tighten up the whole thing like in that show Nothing to Declare which he watches every day on the chipped screen of his portable. They stop them from coming in for anything. A few bags of nuts and they’re kicked out. Blinking in their passport photo: out. Coke dust on their belt: out. Even if they just look sketchy they don’t even flinch, they just throw them back on the next return flight. And that’s why Australia has the best quality of life on the planet. There they just go to the beach and slam lagers in the beaming sun. Sounds like paradise to him. If he could ever save up the money he was going to move there. No question about it. But he wasn’t going anywhere that class tonight. He wasn’t even going to head to the metro-chain shop cross the street. It was fowl out. The rain was whipping spits of rain against his only window as the dark fell on all the dredge of workers evacuating the city leaving him probably the only true Dub in a half-mile radius. It was like rats in New York. They were multiplying quicker than you could dash their heads off a wall. He pooled together the shrapnel from the back pockets of the trousers that were forming a heap under his wardrobe. Bout forty pence shy of a fiver. There goes his dreams of a four-in-one. Even a three-in-one with delivery seemed unlikely. Slots frowned at his change for only being enough for a curry chips. Nothing in Slots life ever went well. Luck was reserved for others. And that was a fact Slots had long ago accepted. Our day wasn’t going to come.

Mark Baldwin 2011

Deb Byrne – A Short Story

You’d need a fucking long distance gun with the scum on tinder. Fucking army of chancers. You get fifty lads with photos of them and their arsehole mates swilling pints and covered in sweat from their limp haircuts to their mangy beer bellies. Fucking Give-it-a-go dopes. Yeah I know I’m not some stick insect skinny bitch but I can guarantee I’m a better ride than them frigid bony moaners. So after you get the fifty saps you get about five benders that just don’t know it yet. You know the ones with their beards and long hair, Who’d want a lad that takes longer to get ready than you? And then there’s some business turds that look like they’re just trying to save money from fucking brazzers. Not this bird mind. I’m not that kinda street scum. It’s so hard to just find a lad that’d want to romance you, to be on his toes around ya, that’d put up with my mood swings and that’ll know what I want before I ask, or before I even know I want it. That’s what I want. I wanna be adored and cherished. The lads that you get that do match with ya, nine and a half times out of ten, they turn into creeps. Creeps think that just cause there’s “more of you to love” there’s less effort they’ve to make. They think that a big girl must be delighted with getting their attention that the bird will let them do whatever fucked up shit they want to do to ya. This one lad sent me a picture of his two mates, asking if I fancied a bleeding bukkae with the three of them. No chance twats. And then bounces from my rebuttal with “Go on ya fat bitch. You’d love to eat our cum ya cow”. I’d love to smash a pint glass into his nose.

I’d been on the dreaded thing for about five or six months. On and off like. The odd spurt and binge here and there if there was a promising lad but usually they all turn into the same arsehole. But just when I was giving the app the ultimatum, I was going to delete it in the next month, this lad comes out a nowhere and is chatting all sweet and that. It could be a long con, don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of that. But I’m not sending him money or making any daft promises to him like. I’m just seeing where it goes with me guard well and truly held up.

His name was Murphy. Don’t know wether that was first or last. He worked in an office. Something to do with a bank but not actually a bank. He looked decent enough too. He was salt and pepper. Like if Clooney had an irish cousin and I will admit I fancied him. He seemed to be chirpy enough. But like I’m all smiles and rainbows online and around people but when I’m alone I’m a big sour mess. So I’ll take that with a pinch. He’d been chatting me for ages, like the day after valentine’s day. Probably the busiest day on tinder. But we found each other. He wasn’t too good to be true. Like he always said “Ya better believe it” and that ran me up the wrong way. He would act like I was a fool sometimes and was looking like a slapped arse baboon in shock at all these “Mad Things” he’d say. But to be honest I didn’t give a fuck what he was talking about the majority of the time. I don’t think passed the tip of me nose to be honest.

He’d arranged a date. Well he’d arrange a few but like if you come across to eager you come across like a panicked spinster. So I rain checked a few of them but looked like I’d to meet him now or I was going to put him off and he’d drop off the radar. We were going for drinks, I said the Gin Palace cause I’m a G and T expert. He knew that already though. If he ordered a beer I’d probably walk out after he gave me fare for a taxi. But when I arrived, at my own time, he was sitting there in the corner with two G and Ts. His was half empty and mine was sitting there.

“How longs that been there?” I asked.

“Oh only about fifteen minutes”

“Get us a new one, that ones probably gone flat and warm.”

“No problem Debra.”

I took off some layers as he went to the bar. He came back with a fresh one.

“Thank you Murphy.”

“Not at all.”

“You not giving them that one to throw out?” I says pointing to my old drink.

“No I’ll drink that.”

“But it’s all warm and flat.”

“I don’t mind.”

My alarm bells were ringing. What does he mean when he says he’d drink a gone off drink? Was he an alco? Or has he just got really low standards? If he’s on a date with me he better not have low standards with the effort I put in to me hair, garb and slap.

“Don’t be mouldy Murphy”

“It’s grand. I’ll have it.”

Ding-a-ling went the bells.

“Just throw it away and get a new one for yourself.”

“I don’t like wasting drink and it was about eight quid.”

“So money’s a problem with ya?” I all but grabbed me coat.

“Nah, it’s just waste I hate.”

“Do you not use bins? Does your house look like a tip?”

“Hahaha. No it’s pretty clean.“

“It’d fucking better be. Excuse my language.”

“No worries. So how was your day? Were you working?”

“Yeah I was in the call centre.”

“Oh nice.”

I wan’t liking his tone. He was trying to butter me up for something I could just tell. He was like one of those creeps the reads about tricks and stuff online. All these little subliminal scams and cons. They act all nice and normal. Supernatural normal that it’s subnormal. And get right under your skull without you realizing it and then you end up with them doing ya up the arse. I’ve heard tales of this too many times and I was not going to fall for it. So I turned the table on him to see what he really felt about long term.

“Were you ever married?” I ask.

“Not yet. No.”

“But you’d like to?”

“Of course, is that not what everyone wants?”

“Kids?”

“Not that I know.” and he gives a dumb grin.

“What’s that mean? You fuck every girl in town once and then never see them?”

“Not at all, it’s just a joke, I’m pretending to brag about prowess. Badly.”

“Do you want kids?”

“Of course. Wouldn’t you?”

It felt like he all but was measuring up me womb and judging if it could incubate all these children that he wants.

“I’ll have kids when all the pedophiles are dead.”

“Oh… right”

“Sorry but that’s just my stance. There’s no point bring kids into this world with all those pedos lurking behind every bush and tree.”

“Ah no I get you. But isn’t that going to be a bit difficult?”

“I don’t care.” I start putting me phone and all in me bag. “That’s how I feel and if that’s not something you care about then we might as well leave it there.”

I get up and put me coat on.

“Oh I’m sorry if I was curt. I didn’t mean anything judgemental.” He goes.

“Well… ya did.”

“Please, I’m sorry.”

“Well.” I swing me bad on to me shoulder, “Maybe you can cry into your stale drink, ya alco.”

And I head out with my head held high. I don’t wanna hear another thing from him. I get a taxi home and order a curry. It was an absolute waste of time. I’d gotten new clothes, used up a ton of slap and slept on curlers last night. And all for some twat that doesn’t know a thing about me or what i want. I deleted tinder that night. I don’t need that shite. Fuck them all.

Mark Baldwin 2018

Snot Nose Sullivan – A Short Story

Little snot nose Sullivan had all grown up. Well by law anyway. Since his birthday last month he could now be tried as an adult. That’s the state telling you you’re a man. It had been a nothing day for him so far. But the night was kicking off. “The boys” were on-form, hanging at the back of the bus. Four porn trained shaggers ready to set aim on Dublin city’s sweaty humping nightlife. They were heading in from City West dressed in their shitty vests. A pink tee that hung on him like the wrapper on a Wham Bar. He had lost the scally fringe from boyhood and was banging the slick rick military jobby look. He figured himself as a bit of a solider in the war of crushing that pussy. The vodka and Jolt on the bus was giving him the sweats and making his skin red like a freshly slapped arse. But oh boy was the craic mighty. The banter bus was breaking all the red lights and bombing towards the perfect night out. There was that glittery fizz in the air like speckled yips that crumble before you touch them. This was going to be The Night. The boys were looking like Jack Jones models, even Trevor was looking good and he usually looks like buff bar lizard.

Sullivan swallowed gob-fulls of his jazzy cocktail between rounds of loudly regurgitating mangled jokes they’d heard on a panel show on tv the night before which they thought they were the only ones who watched and were therefore happy to pass off as their own. The bus was empty bar a few foreigners but they don’t count. The heave-ho of the trundling bus made Sullivan’s gut-juice tsunami but he’d be fine once he was on terra-firma.

But this stop was worth it. Two girlos with legs from the floor to their arse bambi-walked up the stairs and sat in the middle of the bus. The boys were obviously sitting at the back, prevailing their authority like the Kings they were. The girls were noticed. Cueing the hollers from the boys. Cue the look back and the tutting. They were now involved in the game of sexes and hoes. Sullivan and The Boys were split between two camps. Most of the boys were fine with the banter for banter’s sake but fuck it going anywhere beyond the 65b bus. Ya pull a bird you’re going to be wineing and dining her all night and it’s only half eleven. That’s a shit load of vodka red bulls and she can get back on the boat if she thinks you’re going to share your shoulder of Huzzar with her. She doesn’t plan ahead she can go and shite. Warm up a few slappers in the club, secure the after party and sign the deal there.

But Sullivan was feeling like tonight was special. Like the brew of a British tramp. He could do anything his grisly heart could dream of tonight. He was going to get the ride before he even hit the queue of the club. It’s never been done in his circle of lads but that only meant he had to do it. Sullivan was going to become infamous after this. He’d be up there in a part of legend-dom only reserved for VIPs with bottle service on the mother fucking house. He gave his plastic silver bottle of wicked piss a swirl and poured three swallows worth of swag petrol down his throat. Gave the boys the divel eyes and sauntered up the aisle to the seats opposite the girls almost out of earshot of the whoop and wooes of the party peasants down the back.

He got a closer eye full of the pretty little things. They were both decent looking but if he had to give the hottest bird award to one of them then it would go to the one with the bigger tits, hands down. But he’d settle for either. After all this is just the bang before the blowout. The queen of the sheets will be at the club once he’s vetted the riff raff by wearing the face off a couple of frogs. The girls roll their eyes to each other. As girls have a tendency to do to him these days. Where the fuck do birds get off? He thought to himself, then took a fresh swig to stop thinking so negatively.

He asks them where they’re headed tonight and starts the ball rolling on that. The pre-ride tennis match begins with the balls flying back and forth. Sullivan chats real casual with them while slowly amping the familiarity. This could actually happen. He thinks to himself. The giddy cock-numskull in his head even make him feel he could get a double team going on. That would mean he’d never have to do anything else of worth in his life. He could float down the Liffey in a boat as the whole city salutes him. That would be so fucking class. He thinks and drinks. The caffeine and alcohol are now working in tandem to keep a steady supply of words coming out of his mouth. It’s too easy. He says things and they answer and the bus is only half way there so all he got to do is keep it up til town then get off with them and then “get off” with them. That phrase made him smile but then sad that he couldn’t use it on them. There’d be others he assured himself.

The bus jerked him mid-thought. He lost track of the formalities he was spinning but fuck that it was time for a different tact. He got hush and asked them did they want pills. They huddled in. He had yips alright. They were his for the night but he could spare two anyway. Well maybe a half each. They wanted them. Grand job. Now he had a reason for taking them down an alley.

This was easy as fuck. Two blowies, a poke with a warm up poke, the club with the boys, burp, banter to the extreme, all you can meet buffet, burp, fill the balls back up, get yipped out of it, squeezing away for the right arse, an after party with a stunner, burp, then riding rotten for hours, then work tomorrow. But he could worry about that later, that was tomorrow’s problem.

But what was with that wobble? The bus was spinning around like a Guinness shit that won’t flush. Oh don’t think about drink. Fuck. That fucking driver needs to stop jerking the bus. His mouth shut tight. There was bulging in his mouth-to-gut pipe. Serious stuff. A swig would send it back. His eyes watered from the nasty fume of his potion. Down the hatch, quick as fuck. Time needs to start moving forward. There was a stone silence. The bubbles trickled down his tongue but it felt like the dribble fuckers had shown the rest of the belly soup where the exit was and like the gush of a broken rain pipe the sick came pouring out.

He didn’t hit the girls, he didn’t think so anyway. Critical mode kicked in. He was vertical. Staggering off the bus through the fragments of vision his gee-eyes could make out. The driver didn’t stop immediately. The second empting did that for him. And Sullivan was off the bus in fuck knows where. There was grass by the curb. That would now be his gurney. The cold damp muck felt great and there was enough of it to shift around in as the rest of it seeped in sick.

When he felt the damage was done Snot-Nose Sullivan rolled his head upwards. The night sky was clear and there was a fresh chill in the air. He looked up at the stars. It was just him and them, if there was anyone out there. He didn’t feel so alone. It was almost a beautiful moment. Almost til he accepted that he was not going to stand for the foreseeable future so he let it go and tried to enjoy the warm trickle that started flowing through his boot cut blue jeans.

Mark Baldwin 2011