Red Ant

The town was mostly grey—a Thursday. The market was on, but I avoided it at all cost. Too many people. Too many egos floating around like plastic bags caught in a storm. Momentarily closing my eyes with the wind against my face, I saw her beneath me with her arms pinned to the mattress. Like Christ on the cross. Like a vision born from a myth. The smoke from my cigarette playing havoc with my guts, but I kept smoking regardless. Sniffing the cold air, I smelt her in the trees, travelling like a cloud of soot blowing from a chimney overlooking my grandparents’ old house. In my mind, the tree in their back garden swayed as it had done before it was felled; the shed in which my grandad would battle spiders to their death, no longer obliterated but as real as I believed it to be—those epic days contained within each lungful of smoke escaping into the opaque sky. It’s Luton, but not really. It’s Dunstable, but only if you squint. On the mattress, she vibrated beneath me then dispersed like stars wiped clean out of existence by the waving hand of a vengeful god. Swirling. Dancing. She flinched as I kissed the dust on her upper lip, and one by one, the beads of sweat on her neck pinched my senses like the snapping bites of a red ant.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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