With my little needle i will sew tiny stitches
in the gaping flesh that falls off the pole
when i dance.

And when you next see me and i am tethered,
skin and bone, to the steely rod, give me the
courtesy of a
“hello.”

And then cut me down
and lay me
to rest

in the earth where live things
will crawl inside me and breathe
maggot life
into this
forgotten
whore’s flesh.

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Fear Living ~ Mikael Covey

September 3, 2008

Cold black, nothing but stars in black night and pale street lamps decorated for Christmas in the dark village in the winter wind. Boys back from war. Johnny come marching home alive and whole in green Army jackets and tennis shoes. Young men still boys looking for young girls eager full of life. Finding them in the cold dark night. Throwing snowballs from rooftops of the downtown shops in the village, running the sidewalks filled with laughing glee anticipation and wisps of snow in the wind. We didn’t care. Just wanting to hold them, the young girls, soft round slinky and warm in zip up jackets and stocking caps. Or to be one of them now; one of the boys home from the war.

Kellen filling the pipe and telling us stories of war. How he lost a red white and blue knee-high boot at the Saigon whore house. House of a thousand rooms, all night and walking out into morning sun with just one boot on. Watching M*A*S*H at the theatre there. It didn’t impress me. “You shoulda been in ‘ Nam ” he says. Grabbing Missie, carrying her over his shoulder to the other room. Long legged little blonde girl with hot tight ass in tight blue jeans. Legs and ass all eager and happy. To be one of those twenty-year olds back from the war with sixteen-year old girls so happy to see you. Not afraid of war and beautiful young girls like touching the face of God with your hard on.

Equus, a boy who blinded horses, blinded horses he worshipped like gods, blinded them to his sex sin with the stable girl. Not wanting them to see. Sexing the girl with everything you have, everything you want and ever will. Or not. Sitting there on the propane storage tank big as a mobile home, round white cylinder like a giant cock ready to blow. Sitting there across from the dancehall as the kids arrive for the dance. The cars drive in and circle around to see who’s there. Watching them from that odd view across the road in the cold dark night by the dirt parking lot by the big dance hall.

Sitting there watching like an oddball scavenger out of sorts from the main. They pick up little stones from the dirt lot and throw at the propane storage tank. Echoing off the gas-filled metal hull. Ping and pong and again that sound of little rocks bouncing off the tank like being pinged on the bottom of the ocean under the stars. Not caring if they hit me or not.

They stone sinners in the Bible, stone them for doing wrong, being wrong. Wrong to be them. Wrong to be. A people thing, the crowd picks up the stones and throws them at the sinner. Wondering if it might explode, the storage tank might have a seeping leak, not so much as to worry the loss, but maybe a spark from a stone might set it off, ignite the whole damn thing in a monstrous blow of exploding gas, like napalm. I want to die but not right now but don’t want to live this way.

Another night of ‘no thank you’s’ and beer and drugs and all that and that and that some more. We drive down to the off-sales liquor store in the back seat smoking the pipe and each grab a quart or a half-pint or a bottle of wine and back to the dance hall and the half’s gone but it tasted good and now it’s gone. I can’t remember her name. She told me her name a week ago or was it two weeks ago but anyway the prettiest girl I ever saw blonde and breasts and round little ass so wantable and the prettiest face I ever saw. She was nice to me. Told me her name but I forgot. “What is your name again?” Go away she says.

And I never ask the ones who want me to ask them, only the ones who want to say no. And I don’t know why but I don’t want to live this way. Sitting there in the cemetery across the road from the big dance hall all quiet now in the cold dark night of four a.m. in the fog and mist and deadly silence. Big stone cross in the cemetery, Jesus and all his saints. Sitting there on top the cross crying in the dark light rain. Alone and so alone and always alone. Another night of ‘no thank you’s’ and beer and drugs and her name I forgot her name and just go away.

Savage Omnibus #5

August 29, 2008

music was a big part of it – mikael covey

cunt – matthew coleman

disgust – zack wilson

death of miss america – sean mcgahey

black-room-suzy-devere

Savage Omnibus #4

July 24, 2008

MORNING by Suzy Devere

A Dollar Bill, Crisp and Falling~ Joel Van Noord

In Sumeria ~ Elizabeth Rose

vuh shit tree by peter wild ~ part one part two part three part four

Savage Omnibus #3

MORNING by Suzy Devere

July 24, 2008

“Okay, there’s the rub,” I thought, rolling over and trying to open my eyes. But the light was so fucking annoying.  Too bright, like an x-ray sizzling through my brain.  Louisa was pulling back the curtains and it was hellish.  I drifted back out to sea.

“Ms. Suzy, Ms. Suzy.  I’m sorry but chu tole me no to let chu sleep today pas lunchtime.”

Louisa’s voice was hovering and mothering, almost as annoying as the light, but for her I pulled it back to shore.  She loved me.

“Yes, yes.  Thank you, Louisa,” which, I can honestly say I meant, but not for waking me up; who gives a shit about getting up?  I could’ve slept till California sunk into the sea.  No, what I was thankful for was that she was there, making sure I wasn’t dead.  And if I was?  It was reassuring to know she’d be the one to find me first.  Louisa, my hero.

“Could you check with Anthony downstairs to see if a package from Rupert Flynn came?” I said, not very nicely, eyes still less than half-mast. I wanted that package.  Been waiting for it for days.  It was the Will with new appraisal values, blah blah.  I didn’t give a shit about the stuff, but I also didn’t like the idea of fuck-off lawyers and my uptight, slit-stitched, step-mother taking it all without a fight.  Fatty said his lawyers would take care of it if I wanted.  I told him to ask someone else because I wasn’t talking to him.  Couldn’t hear him. 

“Is that a dog I hear barking somewhere in the distance?” I’d said angrily, cocking my head to one side, pretending to listen to something far away.  He shut up.

The truth is I didn’t want him to see what I was all about.  He had his ideas about me, and that was fine, but they were only ideas.  In much the same way I had my own ideas about me, and I didn’t want anything—especially not facts—telling me otherwise. Lord, I didn’t want to have to look into Fatty’s eyes and see “understanding” or “empathy” or any of the other sad-sack things that show up in people’s eyes when they think they really have you pegged.

Ugh. It wasn’t his fucking business, my father’s affairs, you know? 

Money—the spending of money and the owning of things, any things, not just rich / poor bullshit—can tell someone more about you than you know about yourself.  This fact being the one true thing I felt sure of—that my father’s estate would tell others who I really was—made me feel sick. From the first day I’d heard he was dead I knew I’d rather lose it all, the money, the things, than have full disclosure to deal with. 

The other thing I knew was that people react to things in weird ways.  Fatty could read the Will and decide I should be on my own without his help, financially and physically, and that would be bad.  It was his constant bullshit and my hatred, channeled all towards him, that pushed me through the days. Lucy had long disappeared, and I hadn’t really done anything for years but fuck people, dance a little, spend a lot, and get loaded.  Didn’t want to rock the boat.

By the time Louisa dutifully came back, bulging brown envelope in hand, it was nearly two o’clock and I was still unwashed, undressed, and unimpressed by what the day could hold.  She looked at me strangely, like an investigator.

“He say hello to chu, and he tell me chu need to come to take a walk.”

“You tell him thanks for the tip, and to take his own walk.”  Louisa winced but said nothing, just as I expected.  Talking about the staff to other staff, no matter how different their positions, was always a bad idea.  They didn’t like it.  Made them feel insecure, even though for a moment they also felt privy to insider information, which made them feel superior.  It still was bad form, one of those no-nos of the elite.  I’d never been comfortable with having staff.  It was the staff that were high-maintenance. I couldn’t be bothered too much to watch my tongue for anyone, especially not the kitchen help.  Make me a fucking omelet and shut up while you’re doing it.  Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, Anthony was well intentioned; a good doorman but a little on the nosy side with a touch of desperation to him, a pleaser.  I hated kiss asses.  Therefore I really hated Anthony, but knew I shouldn’t.  He didn’t deserve it.  He was hired to fill a spot no one could win in.  No one was James.  Old James wouldn’t have made a comment on my personal habits, or anyone else’s in the building, for a thousand bucks, and that was his old-school training comin’ through.  Anymore the doormen in Manhattan were pompous asses with greasy palms, control issues and bad hair.  Could I blame Anthony?  He was just trying to look after the girl / lady / person who never came out in the daytime except with dark sunglasses and flip flops to go walk somewhere that always took the same amount of time:  29 – 36 minutes.  That’s how long it took me to get to the Food Emporium on Third Avenue to buy cigarettes, a Klondike Bar or Peppermint Patty, and the occasional E.P.T. Home Pregnancy Test.  Other than that, why travel?

Now I was standing, Louisa pouring my coffee twelve inches from my face like I was a baby, and I wanted to throw up.  I’d been feeling sick for days but I always felt sick, except when I was high so who could know?  Fuck all, she was looking at my face closely now…

“Louisa, move back.  Spit it out already.  You’ve been staring at me for twenty minutes.  What’s the matter?”

“Ms. Suzy chu no look so good,” she said with an embarrassed shake of her head.  “Chu look…” she made a strange face I’d never seen before, “Chu look blue.”

Mother of God.  Blue?  What the hell was that supposed to mean?  Of course I look blue.  She’s brown and I’m “white” but we all know that means I’m blue when my skin hasn’t seen sun for a while. 

“I’m just pale.  You know that,” I growled.

She shook her head and her eyes got wide.  I could tell she was weighing her words carefully.  That was what began to freak me out.

“No, Ms. Suzy, chu look blue like something left chu.  In chour face.”

Shit.  Maybe this was the end?  Maybe I was finally gunna’ die?  Either that or I was pregnant.  Same thing, I figured.  I told Louisa to go shopping.  She asked for what? I told her to think of something.  She knew that meant I really wanted to tell her to fuck off but that I was behaving nicely.  She got the drift and got lost pretty fast; I think she knew that I wasn’t right in the head.  Well, I never was…but that this time something was really different.  Really wrong.  After she left I moved in slow motion to the guest bath where I proceeded to vomit blood and coffee, held an E.P.T. stick in my piss for five seconds and then laid it flat on the gray and white marble sink while I went back to bed.  Tomorrow Louisa would find it and tell me what it said.  Although she couldn’t read English, she read those tests better than me.  Happily, I washed three pink pills down with a shot of Woodford Reserve and hey, lights out.

—Suzy Devere

Savage Omnibus #3

July 21, 2008

Fall Out by Melissa Mann

You burn your regrets but leave mine to me by Ben Ashwell

Coward by Steve Vermillion

Waste (for Cliffy) by Chris Major

Three looming cranes in the distance by Lee Rourke

Fall Out ~ Melissa Mann

July 21, 2008

Disgust an’ fear crash through’t toilet door, me right behind ‘em.  I fumble wi’t lock, breath I’ve been ‘oldin’ since I climbed over ‘im ready to burst out o’me top.  There’s barely room to swing a cat in ‘ere.  On’t floor, a pool o’piss laps at me flip-flops. I steady meself against sink.  There’s a bar o’soap turnin’ to scum by’t tap.  I pick it up – it’s all slimy in me fingers – then I sink me teeth in an’ bite a birr’off, lerr’in it lie there on me tongue a bit.  Then I close me eyes an’ start to chew.  Me lips’re tryin’ to peel the’selves off me face.  It tastes like dead roses an’ mecks me gag.  I scrape a fingernail down me tongue, along’t inside o’me cheek then start scrubbin’ at me teeth an’ gums ‘til me finger goes all numb.  I spit into’t sink, wipin’ me mouth wi’t back o’me arm.  Bloodied spew slithers down’t plughole like a jellyfish.

Coach brakes an’ swings left, throwin’ me against door; we must be leavin’t motorway. Eventually it stops, ‘ydraulics gaspin’, engine rumblin’, door ‘andle thrummin’ in me fist.  I unlock toilet door an’ peer out. Ron’s ‘eadin’ up the aisle toward me. Next thing am pushin’t  emergency door open, theme tune to’t ‘Great Escape’ playin’ in me ‘ead. Am Steve fuckin’ McQueen, me!  Or mebbe it’s theme to ‘Reach for’t Sky’ in which case am Douglas Bader an’ well, am fucked then, aren’t I.  Ron reaches out, ‘and like pork sausages, all blotched an’ knuckleless.  But am ‘avin’ none of it, me.  I jump off’t coach, door alarm screamin’ as I fall out into’t path of an on-comin’ Volvo.

* * * *

Two hour or so back

I look down an’ see me smilin’ back at meself, smilin’ like am about to breck me teeth.  Emlyn’s in’t middle, one arm round me, t’other round our Paula.  They’re lookin’ at each other instead o’t camera.  I fold’t photo in two so am pressed against Emlyn’s chest.  We’re that close I can feel ‘is ribs pressin’ into me cheek.  I squeeze the folded edge between me finger an’ thumb, firm like, up an’ down… then I tear us apart.

They’re screwed up in’t ashtray now, pair of ‘em.  Ow, fuck! I’ve a paper cut now, look.  I suck me finger.  It’s a sign that cut; someone up there tryin’ to tell me sommat.  I slot what’s left o’me into’t seat pocket, wipin’ under’t eyes I can see starin’ back at me through’t nettin’.  Just me now. Am on me own an’ am never goin’ back.  Am free though, s’all that matters.  Me great escape, this is.

We’ve just pulled into Leeds coach station.  There’s a few people waitin’ to gerr’on but not many: this Asian lass wi’ bootleg jeans under ‘er sari, an Arthur Scargill look-a-like an’ some bloke wi’ no neck in a Leeds Rhinos’ shirt.  Seat next to me’s gorr’all me stuff on it – bag, Now magazine, can o’Red Bull an’ some cheese sarnies I got from’t kiosk at Bradford Interchange.  Tons o’seats further back though so it mecks no odds.

Yeah, me great escape, this is.  Knew’t minute I set eyes on Emlyn ‘e’d be me ticket out o’Wakefield an’ ‘avin’ to work in mam an’ dad’s fish shop.  Never thought it’d turn out like this though.  ‘e’d come to work for’is aunt in ‘uddersfield ‘ad Emlyn.  Dead exotic ‘e were what wi’is slick-back ‘air an’ Welsh accent. Yeah, it were lust at first sight wi’Emlyn – fo’ me any road.  Same fo’ Paula as well, though she reckons it were love.  Love?!  What does she know about love?  Never even done it, she an’t.  I bare me teeth at winder an’ scrub at a red lipstick mark.  Below me’t driver throws in’t last bit o’baggage an’ slams the flaps shut.

Well that’s just bloody great tharr’is.  Arthur fuckin’ Scargill wants to sit ‘ere, dun’t ‘e, next to me. All those seats at back but no, ‘e wants this one. Christ, would yer look at state of ’im.  Bet yer’any money ‘e gets travel sick.  Nervy sort, yer can tell.  Look at ‘im, slammin’ ‘is trainer on’t footrest like it’s the brake or sommat. See, it were a sign that paper cut. A five-hour coach trip to London sat next to some middle-aged Bradford City supporter, weaned on Tetley’s an’ liable to puke any minute. Yeah, somebody up there’s defo gorr’it in fo’ me.  Oh an’ did I mention the attractive comb-over?

“Can yer believe this driver, eh?  Useless in’t ‘e, the pillock.  Y’all right?  Not squashin’ yer am I, love?”

“Well, I could do wi’out ‘avin’ yer lunch box in me lap, thanks very much.”  A Star Wars bloody lunch box too, if yer can believe that.  I mean, fuck me to Wakefield an’ back!

“Oh yeah, sorry love.  Don’t want yer nickin’ me egg butties when I nod off now, do I.”

Oh just take the bloody thing, will yer.  I turn me back on ‘im an’ look out winder. Kid goes past in’t back o’this Merc.  Stickin’ its tongue out one minute then ‘idin’ under’t seat the next.  Up an’ down like a yo-yo ‘e is, little brat.  I look down, watchin’t M1 slide away under’t wheels.  It were seein’ Emlyn an’ our Paula in’t back o’is car what started it off. That’s when I knew I ‘ad to do sommat. ‘oldin’ ‘er face ‘e was, lookin’ right in ‘er eyes – ‘er speccy-four-eyes, ha!  I pull on me lashes; mascara’s all clogged up.  Yeah, drastic action were called fo’ cos suddenly me way out were lookin’ more like a dead end.

God, I could murder a fag – fuckin’ hours ‘til we get to Milton Keynes.  Could sneak a puff in’toilet I s’pose.  Yeah! Since when did National Express get s’bloody PC any road?  Smokin’ pro’ibited but anti-social comb-overs welcomed wi’ open arms, is tharr’it?

“Me name’s Ron.”

Christ, do we ‘ave to bloody do this?  I don’t want to talk to yer, ar’right.  I force a smile, feelin’ me foundation crack then I turn an’ look out winder again.  Travellin’ by coach allus does this t’me, mecks me ‘ate the world an’ every fucker in it.

“‘Ave yer not gorra name then?”

“Err…sorry, yeah. Alice.”

“Oh, like that lass what went to Wonderland.  Very nice.”

Fuckin’ ‘ell!  Nod an’ smile Alice, nod an’ smile.  I look at ‘is lunch box an’ get this, ‘e’s only gone an’ gorr’ a nametag on it.  A bloody nametag, I ask yer.  Well congratulations Ron Butterfield.  ‘alf an ‘our in your scintillatin’ company an’ am already on page ten o’me self-‘arm manual. I look at me watch.  Great.  Another four an’ an ‘alf hours meckin’ small talk wi’ some fat twat who probably ‘as ‘is name sewn in ‘is underkecks.

I pick me bag up offat floor an’ pull out a mirror.  God, I look a right fuckin’ sight; make-up’s all over’t place.  Not like it were’t other night.   Immaculate it were, then. ‘ad me war paint on, din’t I; Emlyn didn’t stand a chance, poor bugger.  I pick at what’s left o’t nail polish on me thumbnail.  Feel a bit bad about it all now, if am honest. ‘ad to be done though.  Needed to see, din’t ‘e.  Needed to see before it were too late.

Ron’s fidgetin’ about in ‘is seat again; warm-up to openin’ his gob again, I bet. An’ while we’re at it Ron, ‘ow much bloody room d’yer need, eh?  Is yer tackle really that big yer need to sit wi’ yer legs so wide apart?  It’s a coach seat not some big girthed mare yer tryin’ to straddle.  Euch, I can’t look.  ‘e’s got that white gob-shite stuff in’t corners of ’is mouth.  Stringin’ between ‘is lips, it is when ‘e talks. 

“Am a salesman, me.  Sell zips an’ Velcro an’ what ‘ave yer.  Get to travel all over’t country.”

A nod an’ a smile wi’ a bit o’raised eyebrow called fo’ this time, Alice.  There yer go, a 6.0 fo’artistic expression from’t Barnsley judge fo’ that one.  Oh, eh yup, Ron’s usin’ ‘is passenger brakin’ system again.  What we stoppin’ fo’?  Fuck’s sake!  Another sign this is in’t it; somebody up there layin’ it on wi’ a trowel.  Well I gerr’it, ar’right.  Yeah, so I shagged Emlyn when ‘e’s supposed to be gerrin’ wed to our Paula but I never… it… well it just ‘appened, din’t it.  I just ‘ad it in mind to seduce ‘im a bit, that’s all, gerr’im to see sense.  Meck ‘im see ‘e’d chosen’t wrong one, like.

I lean me ‘ead back an’ think on about other night.  ‘e were a bit worse fo’ wear after ‘is stag do, wer’Emlyn.  Dead shaky an’ all cos ‘is best man Timmo’d organised an ‘hit’ for’im.  Timmo’s uncle runs this business, right; Party Assassins it’s called.  They do practical jokes an’ that.  Yer know, strippergrams an’ spikin’t groom’s drink then leavin’ him stark-bollock-naked on Emley Moor, that kinda thing.  Timmo’s uncle were part o’t Bradford Mafia, if yer believe’t talk.  This were a few year back now.  Party Assassins was ‘is way o’going “straight”, like, or so folk said.  Bradford Mafia?!  Yeah, what-ever.

Anyway, there we was, me lust an’ me, sat on mam an’ dad’s couch when Emlyn walks in, covered ‘ead to toe in Alphabetti Spaghetti an’ Cheerios.  Like a female ‘unger striker’s wet dream, ‘e were – ha!  Next thing I’d fallen out me clothes, am on top o’im an’ ‘e’s printin’ mucky jokes all over me tits in pasta an’ ‘holegrain ‘oops. Din’t know what’d hit him, poor bugger. An’ I wan’t takin’ no for’an answer, me – full works or me money back!

So, ‘ere’s me now, stuck in a five-mile tailback wi’ Arthur fuckin’ Scargill’s clone sat next to me.  Yeah, somebody up there’s defo meckin’ me pay fo’ it, big time.  I never set out to ‘urt our Paula though, ‘onest t’God.  It’s just, I were bored, fed up, yer know ‘ow it is?  An’ Emlyn needed to see what ‘e were missin’ before ‘e settled on little Miss Innocent wi’ ‘er specs an’ ‘er M&S dresses.  Why ‘er, eh an’ not me?  I don’t gerr’it.  Must ‘ave ‘idden depths that one.  An’ she in’t all sweetness an’ light neither.  Gorra right temper on ‘er, that one, ‘specially when she’s on ‘er period; she can be a right cow.  Well anyway, mecks no odds now cos I’ve gone, am’t I; left ‘em to it, all that gerrin’ wed an’ ‘appy ever after bollocks.  I snap the ‘air elastics round me wrist an’ peer through’t raindrops spermin’ across winder.  London 87 miles.  Come on, gerr’a fuckin’ move on bus will yer.

Oi, Ron, gob-shite, stop leanin’ on me – Christ!  What’s ‘e gorr’in that ‘an Solo flask, then, voddy? An’ what the fuckin’ ‘ell’s ‘e grinnin’ fo’, eh?  God ‘is breath’s rank.  Smells like fags an’ ale an’ denture glue.

“Did yer know there’s 824 cones in yer average contraflow system?”

Nice one Ron, yer’ve only gone an’ used up me entire stock o’polite conversation.  I slump in me seat an’ look at me watch.  Reckon I’ve still gorr’another four hours o’this, traffic way it is.  Four fuckin’ hours sat next to some saddo ‘ho knows’t reference code fo’every zip an’ strip o’Velcro ‘e’s ever sold.  Christ, if this in’t the coach journey from ‘ell, I don’t know wharr’is.  Please, somebody shoot me!  Oi, now what’s ‘e doin’?  I’m warnin’ yer, gob-shite, lean any closer an’ I’ll stab you in’t gonads wi’ that Bradford City badge o’yours.

“’Ave gorra little present fo’ yer,” ‘e ses.

What-the-fuck….. let go o’me face yer nutter. ‘e’s gorr’is lips suckered to me mouth!  Get-the-fuck-OFF-me!  That’s norr‘is tongue in me gob that’s norr‘is tongue in me gob… think am gonna puke.  Oh thank bloody God.  I press an ‘and to me mouth.  Can’t feel me lips now, can I; they’ve gone all numb.  Christ, that’s norr’is gob-shite snailin’ down me chin, is it?  Fuckin’ is, an’ all! 

“What the fuckin’ ‘ell d’yer do that fo’, eh?”  ‘e’s got this big grin all over’is face, an’t ‘e. 

“S’like I said, a little present fo’ yer, courtesy o’t Party Assassins from your Paula.   It’s fo’ shaggin’ ‘er fiancy.”  ‘e scratches ‘is balls. “An’ I can’t tell yer ‘ow much am lookin’ forward t’next bit o’ this ‘hit,’ Alice,” ‘e ses, lickin’ ‘is lips, “cos it won’t be just me tongue I’ll ‘ave inside yer.”

It’s always pleasant when you meet someone who resembles a character that you once created. You feel a certain fondness towards them, as if you know them already. It makes you feel like when your friends said that they enjoyed reading your story they weren’t just being polite. It makes you feel like at least something you have written has some honesty in it. Unfortunately for me, most of the characters that I create are unsavoury in one way or another, even if I don’t intend them to be when I start out, when I read the piece back I realise what I’ve written.

I recently had the pleasure (as I write this word I realise that is not at all true) of meeting a woman who resembled a female character that I had written about nearly half a year ago. She was the femme fatale of a story in which she broke the protagonists’ heart. She couldn’t sleep until she had done so. Having met this woman I was filled with the kind of fondness that I described earlier. Fortunately for me the feeling seemed mutual.

Over the next few weeks we saw each other casually, occasionally staying over at each others houses. I once went to hers to find that her room was full of smoke. When I asked her about it she told me that she had written down everything that she had wanted to change in her life on pieces of paper. Then she threw them into a fire in order to get a spiritual high that she recommended strongly. Considering my initial fondness for this woman had grown during the past few weeks, I was levelled by this gesture. I thought that I’d finally found someone that suited me. Someone with some “depth” (I write with my tongue very firmly in my cheek).

A few days after this she stopped returning my texts. After that her phone always seemed to be turned off. She was the first person to ever take an interest in me so I hoped that something had gone wrong with her phone. As the week continued I remembered that she had once phoned me from a different number. In that moment everything made sense; her old phone had broken and she’d forgotten to tell me that she had a new number.

My ears were full with the dial tone and my head was filled with her, but as the phone rang I felt a tingling sensation in my temples. Maybe this wasn’t her number; maybe she was avoiding me. Before I had time to acknowledge these sensations the receiver clicked and I heard a man answer in a brisk voice that echoed like the lowest frequency of a double bass.

“Hello.”

“Hi. Is Esther there?” I tried to hide the surprise in my voice.

“No. Who’s this?”

“Who’s this? I’m Buddy,” I replied, a little bemused by the aggression in the man’s voice.

“I’m Esther’s boyfriend. How do you know her?”

“Oh, err, no, I’m, err, I know her housemates.”

“Are you sure about that that?”

“Yeah?”

He hung up halfway through saying, “Good.”

I laid back on my bed, slightly panicked by the threat in his voice. As I laid there a thought entered my head, I can only assume through the temples. Maybe I was on one of the pieces of paper that she burnt. Maybe I was on a few of them. Maybe I was the reason that she felt she needed to do that in the first place. I began to ask myself over and over again, “Was I naive to assume that a girl is single if she invites herself back to my flat the first time that she meets me?” I thought about that for a while before I rolled out of bed and walked across the road to my local, fully aware of how much of a cliché I was being. In the pub a drunken old man asked me if I was married.

“No, but I do have a girlfriend,” I replied in a beat.

Savage Omnibus #2

July 11, 2008

rapture by max dunbar

restless by elizabeth rose

fuck kafka by joseph ridgwell

words of love by michael keenaghan

dog day afternoon by marquis de chalfont

never lick the floor of a lift by matthew coleman

tourettestial by james quinton

It’s hot. It’s

not         where   I

want to be. But,

I wait.

I know it’s

wrong – so wrong.

But I’ll not change

it – yet.

For now, it’ll

do           just fine.

Sitting, waiting. All

the while

watching.

Sometimes, you

just wait              

and it comes.

It all works out in the end.