“I need to pee.”
“What do you want me to do about it?”
Jack stopped walking, and waited whilst Kate continued on for a few paces. Realising he was no longer by her side, she stopped and turned around.
“What?” Jack said with a whine that annoyed even him.
“You shouldn’t have had so much to drink.”
“I had two pints.”
“I need to pee.”
“No you don’t.”
“Yes. I do.”
“No, you’re just trying to avoid having this conversation.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I’ve willed my bladder to fill up just to stop from talking about it.”
“I need to pee.”
“After I piss.”
Kate sighed and crossed her arms across her chest, pushing her weight down on one foot and waving the toes of the other from side to side. Jack looked at her, shaking his head.
“Go on then.”
Jack reached for his zipper.
He ignored her glare as he looked about for some cover. The street was deserted. There wasn’t even a parked car whose tires he could moisten. Kate watched on, increasingly impatient.
To his right, Jack eyed up the thick iron bars of an old Victorian fence. Behind it was a century’s worth of hedge growth. With a pout, he reached out for the bars and grabbed one in each fist, pulling himself up with a loud grunt. His face burned red with effort, and as he toppled over the precipice, he lost his footing and fell heavily into the foliage.
He yelped as his weight took him through the thicket and brambles tore at his skin and clothes. And with that, he rolled out on to the grass.
The moon looked back at him as he lay there catching his breath. After a minute, he spoke to the air.
“I’d rather be dead than have that conversation.”
“I heard that.”
Jack swore to himself.
Another heave of the chest and he rolled onto his knees, making an odd noise as he got to his feet. He felt the midnight dew damp on his trousers as he looked around.
He was in a graveyard.
All of the headstones looked old and wonky.
Jack wondered if anyone knew this was here.
The whole place was surrounded by dense hedges and there wasn’t a gateway in sight.
A few staggered steps took him to a headstone. It was impossible to read in the dark, but it was battered and crumbling.
“You’ve been dead too long to care.”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
He looked over his shoulder. It wasn’t Kate that said it. With a shrug, Jack pulled himself free from his shorts.
“Seriously, I wouldn’t do that.”
The voice was coming from one side. It was a little high-pitched and had the twang of a Celtic accent of some kind. Jack blinked, feeling the cold wind teasing his tip.
There, sitting on top of a headstone was a small man. It wasn’t that he was swinging his legs gaily as he perched there that bothered Jack, so much as the fact he was there at all.
Maybe he wasn’t.
Jack turned back to business, looking down and preparing to micturate.
“Fine, be a gobshite.”
The relief in his bladder was palpable as a thick stream gushed down to his feet, sending plumes of warm smoke into the frosty air. Jack listened to the noise it made as it hit the mud, enjoying the splosh nearly as much as the piss.
Still going, he flicked a glance towards the little man. He was stood on top of the headstone in much the same manner as Kate had been stood, glaring at him with disdain.
“I really needed a piss,” Jack apologised.
“You’re on your own now.”
And with that, the little man vanished.
Jack shook himself dry and shivered as he zipped back up. He took a deep, satisfied breath, then turned to go. But something stopped him. In fact, something grabbed him by the ankle.
Jack looked back and down, and saw the rotting flesh of a hand protruding from the ground. His brow crinkled. Then a scream burst from his lungs.
Pulling his leg hard, he tried to run away, but the hand gripped his ankle so firmly Jack could see he was unearthing the owner as he struggled to free himself. The mud boiled up and more of the arm emerged. Jack heaved himself forward, looking back to see a shoulder appear, and then a very dead head.
Jack fell to the ground and kicked, trying to free himself from the cadaver’s grasp. It just gripped tighter.
There was no scream left in his lungs, and Jack watched on wide-eyed as the corpse clambered free from its grave. It finally let go, but Jack was frozen with fear now, his chest heaving and his heart racing. He watched the dead man step over him, one stinking foot either side of Jack’s head, and reach down to unzip his rotten trousers.
A putrid stream of urine hit Jack in the face.
Above him the corpse exhaled.
Jack’s breathing slowed, his gasps becoming shallower as he felt his heart coming to a halt.
The last drop hit Jack right in the eye.
But he got up nonetheless, all thoughts of being pissed on by a zombie gone from his head. The scratching of thorns against his flesh felt nothing more than feather-like as he heaved himself back through the bush and up over the fence.
His feet squelched a little as he landed on the pavement, but he didn’t know why.
“Happy now?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Much better. Now, what were you saying?”
|Keith: A Novel|
|Crime, conspiracy, and cutlery.
Keith, an average man, with a sensible job, cocks a snook at his mundane existence, and he’s about to make the biggest mistake of his life.
When an insomniac with an over-active imagination decides to give in to his fantasies, what could possibly go wrong?
And what do the bloodied thorn of a rose, an empty buff folder, and a SWAG bag full of forks have to do with anything?
Keith takes you on a criminal romp through suburbia.
You’ll never sleep again.
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