The Unlucky Fellows

This vacant blood bath bar is their favourite, cause it’s the last along this alley strip to be renovated. No expensive imported beers on tap, mould dry slaps the walls and the hardwood floor still squeaks sticky. Close to midday, the Supreme Sexual Being leans forward click snapping his blonde skinny fingers to the bad beats, while the King of Fucked Up nurses his free pickled egg in between beaten shaking diabetes hands and celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the first time he broke his nose. The King used to be known as the Orgasm Astronaut, but has passed his used by date so dressed for nil success, stopped shaving long ago, short, stopped ironing long ago, solid, stopped washing long ago, few teeth left, started drinking long ago. The still prime Being has trained his eyes, hands and mouth through hustling impatient businessmen and women in putrid public toilets for a few years from age fifteen. If there’s no money for the juke, or pretty party marks to ponder, the Being picks lint from his expensive looking cream cheap suit. The King keeps swishing the ice in his glass waiting for it to melt into whiskey tasting water. Standing up asleep, the bartender rests. The clock hits twelve twenty, exactly, and the Being just has to ask,

‘You want to make some money, man?’

With his soul sitting happy in his mouth, and lids heavy, the King turns to answer with a dopey smile, before blinking slow,

‘Well why not?’

 

Nobody’s ever loved the Being like his mother. And she still loves him. Awww isn’t that cute? So even after his stints and close calls for various flesh offences she always opens the door for him. She never closes the door on him. And now she opens the door for him. Smiles and says naught, as the Being and the King move from the spilt wine reeking stairway of the tall New South Wales council estate into the lavender smell of the short hall, then pushing into the vanilla air freshened vapours of the Being’s room. There’s posters of posers, and pictures of princesses and princes of malformed music. The King sits on the bed.

‘You got any food? Like even, you know, a piece of bread or somethin’?’

The Being grins his artificial white sneer, and begins to slowly untack a wad of stick blue holding up a one of the pinups. The corner peels off and then he untacks the other side. With a wobble, it flops down. Behind it is a smashed fist hole, and spider’s treasure inside that.

‘I got angry, so I smashed it. Can’t fix it right. So might as well make use…’

‘Cheap safe.’

‘Yeah…’

Slowly inputting his lightly inked hand he brings out the rusty red coloured slashed shoe box.

‘This is how you make one dollar multiply into a million.’

‘If it buys me one more drink, I’m happy.’

‘It’ll buy you the whole damn distillery man, but only if you be my muscle?’

No blinks pass.

‘Who’ve I gotta beat, kill huh?’

The Being’s worry creases fade, as smile ones rise.

‘Maybe lots of people, maybe no one.’

‘What is it?’

‘Doesn’t matter.’

‘How far we gotta go with it?’

‘Not far.’

‘Alright, let’s go.’

 

Clonk clonk clonk the concrete council stairs tripping and treading down. The Being leads the way, minus the red carpet, or any real sense of worth. A hey faggot bounces up the well then off a paint spray tag slashed wall, then into the ears of the pair. Then six teen skinhead stereotypes slink stomp form a barricade before they can be easily avoided.

‘This another dirty trick you taking home for mummy, or was he yours?’

‘Yeah he’s a little young for ya isn’t he? I mean he is only about forty or so.’

Groups of yellow teeth sniggers form a mass sad speech bubble above the heads of the gang. The Being drops his head, the King feels this is nothing new.

‘Empty your pockets, you too John.’

Slipping fingers into his suit, the Being feels his wallet then turns. He feels a test should be taken now.

‘Prefer not too.’

‘What?’

‘See, me giving you my moolah would be like requesting that you too stop shitting and pissing in these stairwells. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. Anytime. Soon.’

As soon as the Being opens his mouth, rather than retracting his wallet, the King knows the situation has milliseconds before several months of hospital spent ugliness explodes. And currently he can’t afford proper booze, let alone hospital bills. So he decides to go first.

‘W-‘

Fat fist punch connect flying through the air crushed throat down stairs leader down stumble back five to go to grab arms smashes a nasal cartilage flat before they grab then two hold arms but twists free for a deep eye gouge then head butt on the on the other now both hands free follows with a full blown Liverpool kiss now looking for pressure points he goes to work on the remaining one cause the other is bolting away down the stairs he hammers two stiff fingers into the base of the throat just above the chest and hopes he has not killed but is not that concerned survival is the main concern and punches and stomps the screaming still breathing shapes on the ground before the black red fades from his eyes and he breathing hard hears-

‘Whoa man. I mean like just totally fucking, whoa.’

 

Strolling along in the sunlight but not too slow, the pair soon stop and sit at the local fish and chip shop for salty scallops and soft drinks where the King uses a wet serviette to blot out blood with one hand as he squeezes more tomato sauce with the other into the wet paper bag. The Being is still in silent shock. The King begins by accidentally spitting potato chunks.

‘Clean grease they use here. Very clean. Impressive.’

‘It’s no real surprise human sexuality is such a twisted thing.’

‘What?’

‘Well they way we beat the shit out of each other for fuckin millennia, it has to come out in other aspects of life too ya know.’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘I don’t know? Just the world is such a fucked up place.’

‘Yeah. Has nice parts to it though.’

‘Which parts?’

‘Well whiskey for one, then there’s certain dreams and emotions that never get forgotten or fade.’

‘True, true, surprisingly deep of you, man.’

‘I’m a deep guy…uurrrrp.’

‘Nice one.’

‘How about we deliver this box of yours then go get a funnel, hose and a bottle of black label.’

‘Done.’

 

The metal newsstand outside promises news of today but only ever gives gossip of last night. Inside floats the sweet soft stale smell of rolling, chewing tobacco. A heavily shaded light spreads it’s self over bad birthday cards, pink scrunkle cellophane wrapping paper, top shelf toss mags, winding ribbons, luscious out of date confectionary, yellowing big name paper backs, while the back counter houses the Lotto counter plastered with shabby laminated posters of big numbers and flying balls.

‘Why are we going here?’

‘You’ll see.’

Mid thirties and well kept, she stands blue pen community newspaper circling man looking for woman ads.

‘Hello.’

‘Hi, The jackpot, The ninety million. I’m here to collect!’

‘Wow! Have you got the ticket?’

‘Sure.’

The King’s eyes pool open like a fresh egg dropped on a tiled slope. The Being opens the box and she scans the taken out ticket with scepticism.

‘Hmmm…Sorry.’

‘But…but…I won.’

‘Yep. Sixteen dollars and twenty cents. Sorry about that.’

‘Oh. Can I get that in cash, now?

‘Yep.’

The King doesn’t want to laugh, but somehow he guessed this was coming. They’re neither lucky nor winners.

‘You want to get wasted? I got some scotch stashed in a shoe under the bed at mine.’

‘Guess I’ll buy the mixers then.’

‘Yeah, and maybe a couple of big bags of chips.’

‘Cool.’

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