Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Two Gallants

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Tommy, the caretaker’s son, was literally fucked off his face. He and Mac had sneaked off from the rest of the party, taking refuge in a spare room upstairs. The walls pulsed, the fog had descended.
He was trying to hold it together, through every crest, long enough to crush the pills and chop out enough lines for both of them on the back of the video case. He rolled up 10 sheets. Pinched his nose as his eyes watered. Jesus. Rubbed the rest into his gums as he settled back. Mac slouched forward and clumsily hog-snorted the rest. As each line disappeared Tommy noticed for the first time the words “Schlinder’s List.”
“Jesus man, that’s a bad fucking buzz.”
He squirmed back in the chair, closed his eyes and a thousand random idiotic images played like a showreel on the backs of his eyelids: men on bicycles, clouds, mahogany patterns, laughing fishermen. He clung white-knuckled to the armrests. Things were going amiss. Nothing would be alright.
“It’ll be alright. We’ll just chill here. It’s all good man.”
Neither one of them heard the doorbell ring. Nor the wood splintering as the masked men kicked the doors in. Nor did they hear the hurling stick-wielding visitor addressing the crowd downstairs with the words, “We towl youse fucking bastards tae keep tha fucking noise down.” And in an instant, that felt like a lift descending, the whole festivity turned into a place of weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
As another wave of euphoria shuddered through him, Tommy wondered if he could take anymore. He exhaled. “Jesus man, I’m fucking winged tae tha pishbone.” How about you?”
Mac’s eyes were rolling in the back of his head, he was mumbling something, barely audible, about interest rates.
“I fucking tell ye man, we’re de-evolving. It’s all going fucking backwards man. I know it, I can feel it happening man,” Tommy elaborated, more panic-stricken with each word. He suddenly shot up. “Skins man, have you any skins?”
Mac didn’t answer. What had once been Mac had floated off long ago, perhaps never to return. The shell that was left was preoccupied with chewing its lips.
“Fucksake! We’ll have to go for some.”
As they swayed downstairs some commotion was going on in the living room,
“Sack this man, let’s go.”
As they left they noticed the taxi parked in front, the engine still running. They got into the back.
Five minutes later the driver got in, lobbing what was once a speaker into the backseat. Another got into the passenger seat placing the hurling stick at his feet. Both paused and then slowly turned heads to look in the back.
“The nearest petrol station, lads. And make it quick.”

Darran Anderson


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