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by Chris Connolly

originally published: May, 2008

Mouths frothing, gnarling teeth snapping.

Mouths frothing, gnarling teeth snapping.


story by Chris Connolly

originally published: May, 2008

Days and weeks spent on weed and beer and strange inedible tasteless noodles in Montezuma. And gin to calm things down. Days spent wondering: what next?

But then she came back. Suddenly - it seemed - Reba arrived in Chico's one afternoon and saw me there at the bar and looked at me and kissed me and smiled and then left the next morning after I threw an ashtray at her and told her to fuck off.

Before the ashtray was thrown though... both so happily stoned and drunk and in love again and loving it. Me seeing tunnels and melting walls and everything looking orange and far away, seeing her in slow motion. Slow motion sex. Hours and hours of slow motion everything, and her giggling and moaning and that once-lost look of excitement and curiosity back in those beautiful eyes. And when I finally came I felt my legs explode. Not just an orgasm but a total, glorious head fuck. Mind orgasm. Pure and absolute bliss in my head and balls.

And then she was gone again, because I told her to go. I threw an ashtray at her because I was sure that I loved her more than she loved me - even though it was her who had come back to find me.

And the next few days spent feeling sadness and guilt, and thinking that maybe I could go and bring her back and say sorry and fix it all before she was too far for me to find her. But I didn't. And I regretted it - even when there was still time to catch up with her I regretted it, because I knew I wouldn't. And because I was stoned and drunk again.

After I told her to go she went straight down to where the little old yellow school-bus would soon arrive. I watched her standing there in the heat with tears streaming down her face, sobbing uncontrollably, her beautiful Welsh legs almost buckling underneath her from the sheer shock of my sudden cruelty. I knew then that she loved me, maybe even more than I loved her, and I still can't understand why I watched her there - knowing she loved me, knowing I loved her, knowing I was miserable without her - and stayed watching her for almost an hour. Then watched her put her bag on the bus. Watched her step on. Watched her sit down and watched that beautiful face filling up with misery, still soaked with tears, pressed against the window of the tiny yellow bus. Watched all that, and then watched the little yellow bus slowly drive away out of sight.

With my heart and head screaming at me to follow her I ignored them both and walked back towards Chico's. No better time for some early-morning whisky, I told myself. I sat at the bar drinking whisky and beer, with the sweat pouring off me even in the shade, and watched two dogs fighting each other in the street, scrawny and mangy and vicious. Mouths frothing, gnarling teeth snapping.

I stared at them for a long time. There was something about those two dogs out there in the dust, fighting fiercely over nothing. I could feel their pain, could feel each bite. After a long while they tired and slowly limped away, side by side. I stayed sitting silently at the bar in my usual seat, now with nothing left to watch, and nothing left to lose.

Chris Connolly

Chris Connolly writes from Dublin, Ireland. Allegedly he is not as dangerous as he reads. His first collection of short stories, 'Every Day I Atrophy' (the SideCartel) is available now. If you need to know more about Chris Connolly, he has an excellent and excellently informative website here

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