Lifting me to my feet, she pats me down and combs my curly head of hair. I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to do anything other than drink my beer and take photos of her body. Not of her—just of her body. I want it to fuel my seedy obsessions regarding the womb and descend into sordid perversity all in the name of art. It’s what I do best.

“It won’t take long,” she says, “so stop sulking.”

She’s right, it won’t take long. Perhaps not even ten minutes. The chicken place is on the same street, and as they’ll be plenty of food waiting for me once I get there, I’ll be in and out. Job done. Still, it means being around other people. People are the problem. They always have been. The only person I like is Meeko, and even she tests my patience more than I can stand.

“Can I take the dog?” I ask.

“You mean Hachikō?”

“Yes, Hachikō.”

“No, you may not.”

“Why not?”

“Because I want to bond with him. You made me angry, and now he thinks I’m a bad person. Dogs are like that you see. They pick up on people’s personalities. I need to show him I’m someone he can trust, and more importantly, that the only reason I lost my temper is because you treated me so unfairly.” Rolling my eyes, she pokes me in the ribs before dusting dandruff from the shoulders of my shirt.

“If you roll your eyes at me one more time today, I shall pluck them out and feed them to Hachikō.”

“Will you let me take my photo after we eat?”

“Perhaps,” she says.

“Why only perhaps?”

“Because there’s no telling how long it will take for you to put me in a mood again. If you behave yourself, then I shall give it consideration. Now, don’t become distracted. I know you don’t like going out, but it’s a quick job. When you come back, I shall have a cold beer for you on the table. I shall put some music on, too. What do you feel like listening to?”

“King Crimson.”

“No, it’s neither the time nor place for that. Pick something more uplifting.”

“Crowded House?”

“That’s better!” she exclaims with a smile. “Now be as quick as you can. Get two buckets. I want a feast! It’ll be our first meal as a threesome, I don’t want anything but the best for us.”

Kissing me on the lips, she fetches me my shoes. Once I’ve put them on, she pushes me to the door. One more kiss and I give her my best ‘don’t make me go’ eyes, but she merely twitches her nose and grins.

“No dillydallying, you hear?”

Kissing me again for luck, Hachikō barks and wags his tail behind her. As she leads me out into the hallway, the smell of the outside world churns my belly, causing me to nervously fart.

“Dirty boy,” she says, and then closes the door leaving me to descend the stairwell to the street below.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

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