Tag Archives: minimal


We stayed up late one night.

Late for nothing

but bed.

We talked about this

talked about that.

Happy about this,

sad about that.

She passed the wine

to me, dripping down

the neck, onto my fingers

as I pulled another

mouthful of drips

from its body.

“What do you see your heart as?”

she asked, like it was a plan.

Like, ‘what are we doing tomorrow

and the tomorrow after that?’

I thought from the bottle,

watching the wine drip

and slowly dry.

“A battery” I said.

She smiled for a second,

And then let that drip, too.

I passed the bottle.

She drank again, a little more.

I could feel the red

making its way

around my battery,

dripping inside.

We looked at one


In the warm darkened glow,

from the candle

on the floor.

Dripping too,

flickering still.

Keeping us in sight

of one,

of another.

She looked sad.

Maybe I did too.

“Like a cheap AAA battery” I said again,

for some reason.

I reached for the bottle.

I took it from her.

I saw that red wine on my fingers

from those drips from the neck,

that came from the body.

And dried.

“Don’t say that” she said.

She reached for my hand,

with the drips all dried.

I held the bottle tight.

Gripping its neck.

She changed the subject

to something.

Something far away

from hearts

and batteries

and wine

and drips.

But I kept thinking

about how we drip

and dry

until there’s nothing left.

Nothing but that sour taste

From the holes in the battery

that dripped

every drop

and stopped

one day,

without warning.

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Fake – Anniversary Story

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of my blog.

So here is the last short story of year one

I knew a guy once. Dirty Harry. Like the Clint Eastwood movie. He wasn’t a dirty cop or anything. He was just a regular guy called Harry. But he owned a sex shop. I know right, what a weird job! I guess someone’s got to do it. He was in his late forties I reckon. Married for god knows how many years. No kids though. I don’t think he could have kids. Something about the whole situation made you think that was probably the case. He was a good guy. You could tell he was a looker in his day. He was still a handsome guy, but he wasn’t what he was. But then, none of us are what we were. What I’m trying to say is, he didn’t look like the sort of guy who ran a sex shop. He was, like I said, regular. Apart from all the sex shop stuff. People wouldn’t have called him ‘Dirty Harry’ if he was a panel beater or something.

I used to go to his shop on the reg, looking for stuff for me and the wife and the others. I got toys for them too. Well, ex-wife I should say. Dirty Harry and I used to get to talking. At first it was all business talk. I would ask which things to buy. Which handcuffs were the strongest, which bottle of lube did that tingly thing when you put it on. Sex stuff. But as we got better acquainted I started asking him about him and he started asking me about me. One day I brought up something that I had always wondered about.

“You must have the best sex life Harry” I said to him, looking up from the vibrator he advised me to get. He said it was the one that all the women bought. I was only half joking him around. But more than a little bit of me wanted to know how dirty Dirty Harry really was.

Dirty Harry turned away from me. He started putting these big brightly colored dildos in a straight line. They cast these big old shadows bigger than them.

“You’d think that, wouldn’t you Bill?” he said.

“Yeah. The ladies must love you coming home with all this stuff!” I said. I don’t know why I put it like that. I knew he was married. I’d seen the ring before. But he wasn’t wearing it that day.

“My wife, well, ex-wife, she hated all this stuff” he said.

“Really? That’s weird.”

He looked at me with one of those, ‘really?’ expressions. As if he was saying, ‘take a look around buddy. I work in a room full of big rubber dicks and blow-up chicks!’

“Well, maybe not that weird.” I said, taking that cue to correct myself.

“I sometimes wonder why I’m even in the business Bill. The money ain’t even what it used to be. People are buying their stuff on the internet these days. I don’t know…”

I didn’t say anything. I looked down at the vibrating thing in my hand. It had been vibrating the whole time Dirty Harry spoke to me. I looked for the off button. I was thinking about how much Janet would love this. Would love me for buying this for her. For me.

“You make a lot of people very happy Harry” I said.

He looked down at the floor. He brought his hand up to his face. He pinched the bridge of his nose between his eyes.


Dirty Harry starts telling me that he almost sold the place once. He had it on the market. Had a few folks interested in buying it. One guy wanted to use the space. He didn’t want to own a sex shop though. Who the hell wants to own a sex shop? Not me let me tell you. I mean don’t get me wrong. I love the sex shops. But where would be the fun in being around this stuff all the time? And I don’t want to be known as Dirty Bill!

So Dirty Harry’s in the shop one day, waiting for the clock to strike midnight so he can lock up and go home. This broad walks in. High end he tells me. Not his words, mine. Big thing. All tits and ass and hips. Again, not his words. He smells her perfume before he hears the little door chimes rattle. She comes in all confident like. He told me once that women usually had more confidence in sex shops than men. I could understand that. So she comes in, all confident like.

I want the best vibrator you sell, she says. As calm and cool as that. Dirty Harry gets a little nervous. Says she’s looking at him, right in the eyes, just throwin’ her cards on the fuckin’ table.

Okay, he says. He shuffles round the counter and plucks the best toy off the top shelve. She stands behind him. He can feel her breath on the back of his neck. He hears a lighter click. He hears her suck on the cigarette. He feels her blow it against the back of his neck. He smells the blue smoke mix with that perfume. His hands are shaking like mad. He ain’t even got the dildo switched on for the woman yet!

What’s the rpm? she asks. Just like that. Obviously, this was not her first barbeque. Holding the thing against her palm, looking Dirty Harry in the eyes. He sees that there ain’t a wedding band on her finger. He was still wearing his then.

16,000, replies Harry.

Anything stronger? she asks. Poor old Dirty Harry is just about bowled over let me tell you. She’s looking at him like he’s an engine. He can feel her wondering what his rpm is. He can’t look her in the eyes.

That’s about as strong as they make them, he says, moving a couple of dildos around, tryin’ do somethin’ with those shakin’ hands. They were probably about 17,000rpm!

She closes her eyes and licks her lips, subtle like. She’s moving the vibrator around her palm.

Do you know how to use one of these? she asks him, still with her eyes closed. When he was telling me this he was looking really uncomfortable. Sad almost. But if I was sitting down, I’d have stood up, I’ll tell you that. This was a great story!

No, he says. She looks at him that same way I did after he told me about his sex life. She didn’t believe him. Man working in a sex shop must know a thing or two about dirty sex. She goes into the little handbag she would no doubt be keeping that vibrator in. She sounded like the type that would carry it around with her at all times. She pulls out her card. She hands it to Harry.

If you ever want to learn, just give me a call, she says, with a little wink.

Okay, says Dirty Harry, hand still shaking, holding her card.

She pays and leaves, leaving that perfume smell in the empty shop.


“I sat there the whole night Bill” says Dirty Harry, “I thought about calling her. I did. Thought real hard.”

“Did you?” I asked.


“Why?” I asked. I probably would have.

“Because I was married. Well, then I was. I went home the next morning and told my wife I was leaving her.”

“Shit” I said. It was all I could say. “Just like that?”

“Yup.” he said, smiling. But it was off sorta. Not a real smile. “There’s more to it than that. It’s never a simple thing Bill.”

I said nothing. I looked down at the thing in my hand. I had found the off button about halfway through his story. But I didn’t click it. At that point though, I turned it off. I thought about my wife. And Janet. And the others. And this thing I held in my hand.

“How much is this one?” I asked him.

“$65” he said.

I handed him the cash and walked to the door. I heard the little chimes above my head. I turned to Harry.

“See you later Harry” I said. I knew that I wouldn’t though.

He smiled that fake smile again. It fit. Everything in there was fake.

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The Cricketer – Part Two

They played for hours under the burning sun that day. Nobody kept score. The game would keep going until the sun called it a night. Until they couldn’t possibly play another game. They would start again at sunrise.

Govinda chased every ball that came close to him and threw them back to where they came from. His arms were numb. His soles burned. His lips cracked. His cheeks ached from smiling so much. But he didn’t feel a thing. An excitement he never knew existed pushed that pain down. But Govinda couldn’t stop the little worries creeping up into his mind and growing every second. At 3.35, he would have to stop playing. Stop having fun. Stop having friends. Stop being Anit. Stop being who he wanted to be, and start being who he was told to be.

Govinda had been watched the gaps between the trees all afternoon. He watched the traffic stream past. He watched for a bus. A big yellow bus making its way towards its school. He worried that he wouldn’t see it pass. That it would leave him there. Leave him there after the cricket finished and the night caved in. He wanted to stay. But he couldn’t. Govinda thought that it was about three o’clock. But he wasn’t sure.

The older boy stepped up to bat. He still had that swagger, but it was weary. Worn by the heat and runs back and forth, back and forth. Stuck between two points. But he still wore that smile as he pointed the bat at Govinda.

“Another one for you Anit my friend!” he shouted. Govinda smiled and looked over his shoulder. Thick, thirsty shrubs lay behind him. He felt his watch ticking in his pocket. Louder than his heart, but slower.  The drawling ticks tried to pull at his smile.

The boy struck the ball high into the sky. The ball was harder to see against the deepening blue of the sky. But Govinda stood, eyes fixed as it flew overhead and landed deep into the sharp shrubs. He turned and ran towards them. Wading in, he glanced over his shoulder. The boys were celebrating. This time, no one followed him. He stuffed his hand into his pocket. He pulled out his gold watch and checked the time. 3.26. His heart sank. He hadn’t time for anymore. He knew that he had to leave. Govinda felt a tear run from his eye and mix with the dirt he had rubbed on his face that morning.  He saw the ball through the shrubs about two feet in front of him. He bent down and pushed his hand through. His fingers wrapped around the worn old ball. As he pulled it back out he felt the thorns tear at the skin on the back of his hand. As he looked at his hand he knew that he would have to explain those cuts at the dinner table that night.


“I have to go” shouted Govinda, looking round at them all, memorizing their smiles to hold back his tears.

“Why?” replied the bowler. He tossed the ball Govinda threw into the air, catching it again.

“I have to meet my father at the market.” Govinda looked back at his feet. They had stopped hurting now. The dirt was embedded beneath his well cut nails. He curled his toes and gripped the hot, harsh sand.

“Okay. Well, same time tomorrow” said the batter with a smile, “You’re a pretty good player.”

Govinda let a single tear fall and land on his feet. It mixed with the dirt he had ran onto them all day. He looked back up at group of slum children, and wiped his face gently. None of them noticed.

“Yeah. Tomorrow,” he replied softly. The lump in his throat grew with every tick and tock he felt in his pocket. He turned and walked away, back towards his tree. No footsteps followed him. He reached his weak hiding place and lifted up the old, torn plastic bags. He found his clean bag sitting where he left it. Through the thin white plastic he could see his school uniform, his bag and the bottle of water he had packed to clean himself off with. He heard the game start again. The laughs and cheers swept in from behind him. Govinda walked across the road and started to sob.

Illustrations courtesy of Paul Aitchison – www.paulaitchison.wordpress.com

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