Cradle

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It’s hard to feel romantic sitting on plastic bread trays, staring at the flashlight from a security camera as it sweeps the yard.  It’s three hours past midnight.  Even the dirty old men are asleep; the dangerous alleys and car parks lie empty of crime.  I look past the barbed wire fence towards a line of megastores, just disorganised boxes, unlit and anxious.

I sip from stolen bourbon and pass it to Ginny.  She wears ribbons to the Nightshift, and little bells on her shoes.  She thinks we are butterflies in a scrapyard looking for flowers, but right now I’m just looking for dawn.  I’m looking for Vitamin D.  My eyes ache from flourescent lights and my teeth crunch with dust.  I smell of polyester and cat food.  Dead from the lips downwards, only her neck excites me when she rolls a knot from her shoulders.

Later, in a dark corner of the warehouse, Maroon approaches me with a tatty five pound note.  He always gives me this so he can rummage in my pants for thirty seconds, and – so help me god – it’s more profitable than overtime, so I accept.  Hands around my junk, he breathes into my face and his permanently clogged nose burbles, as I count the seconds in my head.

When the gas explosion happened I was staring at a slice of mouldy bread hanging over a metal shelf.  I realised, in those split seconds before my violent disintegration, that I’d messed up my final scene.

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