By Paul D Brazill
Karen locked eyes with me and smiled but I just turned away and looked at the torn billboard outside the shop.
In red marker pen it proclaimed:
‘Best selling thriller author Julian Stroud to host Rotary Club Christmas Charity Lunch’.
‘Bet it’s gone downhill since you came here last time, eh, Mr Stroud?’ said the taxi driver.
‘Plus ca change,‘ I said, as I slowly let out a silent fart.
‘Aye,’ said the taxi driver, winding down the window.
I used to lay awake at night thinking of my childhood humiliations. How much I was ridiculed. Laughed at. And over the years I let my my hatred marinade. And congeale.
And then the doctor told me about my body’s uninvited guest. The plague that crawled through my veins. And then I had an idea.
‘No, I hadn’t,’ I said. I looked out of the Carvery window. The sea was grey. Out at sea, a fishing trawler adorned with Christmas lights bobbed up and down on the waves.
‘They say he met a lass on the Internet. Was getting on really well, too, until he sent her his picture, that is, and then she blocked him,’ said Karen.
I remembered Fast Eddy and could understand the girls consternation. He was once described as being like a fatter version of Bernard Manning. Without the charm.
‘And what happened?’ I said, almost interested.
Karen was looking good, I had to admit. She’d dolled herself up pretty well. Her idiot husband had been in a drunken sleep on the sofa and hadn’t even noticed her sneak out.
The fatigue was behind her eyes though. I almost felt sorry for her. I was starting to wonder if I could go through with this nasty little plan that I’d hatched.
And then she laughed.
Karen Griffin’s cruel cackle reminded me of my teenagers years and the agony of just living. And it made up my mind for me.
The motel room was dimly lit. Outside, I could the heavy bass of an old Public Image song.
I finished my brandy, popped a viagra and crawled into the bed.
‘Speak French to me Julian, you know it really turns me on, ‘ said Karen, as she pulled me towards her.
I took out a condom that I’d pricked with a pin earlier and put it on.
‘Le Petit Mort,’ I said, with a smirk. Well, Christmas is a time for sharing, after all.
Paul D. Brazill is a feckless waster who was born in Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He left school at sixteen because he was too thick to pass his exams and started writing at the end of 2008 because his girlfriend put the clamp on his boozing.His writing has appeared in all sorts of print and electronic magazines and anthologies, such as Beat To A Pulp, A Twist Of Noir and Radgepacket Volume Four. His story The Tut was nominated for a 2010 Spinetingler Award and his story Guns of Brixton will be included in the 2011 Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime, so he's getting away with something. His blog is YOU WOULD SAY THAT WOULDN’T YOU? And his column, I DIDN”T SAY THAT, DID I? is at Pulp Metal Magazine. And he wouldn't have work when there was work.