Short Story 1, First Submission, Edit 2.

20 Feb
I don’t think much of people who take laptops to go and write in public. It’s a cliché sure, but it does exist and the free wi-fi is not an excuse- posting updates to twitter about how hard you’ve worked all day is not a valid use of the internet goddamn. I’m mentioning this up top because I’m going to do something equally unfathomable, (unfathomable always sounds like somebody falling down a short flight of stairs in my head), and show my working.  I’ve done some revision to the piece on post 53, and rather than just present the newer version I’ll leave both up. It feels a bit like I’m participating in one of those shows where a german in a fedora cuts up dead people, but I’m doing it anyway.

An Argument.

4am. A single line of smoke rolled off the balcony like bad calligraphy. Curled fingers brushed ash off a fledgling pumpkin. John leaned his head around the door.

“ Do you think children are easier to frighten than they used to be?” He asked, blindly reaching for the cup outside with his free hand. David scrunched his forehead and leaned in slightly from the couch, his eyes not moving from the helicopter chase. He had the sound on low so the sounds of gunfire didn’t alarm the other residents,he didn’t want grenade-blasts leaking through thin 60’s architecture.

“Do you mean regular children like I was, or more sensitive children like you?”

“What is that supposed to mean?” John swapped hands to drink from the plastic tumbler covered with glittered frogs. “Are you implying I’m some sort of wee jessie?”

The armoured police van exploded, and David tapped his foot to the coffee table in quiet celebration. “Your Scottish accent sounds like a dog food commercial, and Yes. You scare incredibly easily. Also, while you were outside I drank the last of the wine”

“You arsebastard” John ran to the kitchen in exaggerated panic.

“See?” David replied, pausing to watch him check empty bottles. John, upon finding a full one behind the toaster, began pouring two more cups while walking back to the couch.

“Seriously though children are useless now. I told a kid in Bunnings that the rattle in spray cans is children’s teeth and the look on his face was like I’d twisted the head off a kitten”

“Dude you can’t just say shit like that to kids, somebody’s mum will slap you”

“But it’s a 20-year-old joke! I heard it on The Simpsons when I was younger than him. They don’t even show the really good episodes anymore; when was the last time you saw Last Exit to Springfield on tv?”

“I don’t know man, I don’t think they even have reruns on at 6 anymore” Said David, as he gave the kind of shrug imperceptible to the untrained eye.

“Jesus Christ what is the world coming to when there isn’t a minimum of four hours of Simpsons available for free every week, nine if you have foxtel. It’s bullshit. Do you know they’re going to change Humpty Dumpty so that they fix him at the end? What kind of shit is that? That’s not even worth a rhyme, oh no some guy fell but he’s ok now. Nursery rhymes are supposed to be a child’s first exposure to horrible acts of violence and cruelty. Sing a Song of Sixpence is a recruitment song for bloodthirsty pirates, Jack and Jill is about two terminally ill children forced to fend for themselves in a cruel pre-industrial society and ring-around-the-rosies mourns those who died from the plague. Actually that last one’s not true so forget I mentioned it.” John realised how long he’d been talking and finished the rest of his wine.

“I can see the benefit in couching the cold reality of life in rhymes if you live in Dickensian London but 9 year-olds don’t work full-time much these days, so it’s probably a cultural hand-me-down that’s ultimately served its purpose ah fuck” David exhaled as his gangster fell under a hail of bullets.

“Do you think we’ve been affected negatively by it” asked John as he returned to the kitchen.

“Probably not.”


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