Page 1 - Nails
P. 1

Shit, shave, shower. That was how the day
started for him. Nothing out of the ordinary in that
respect. But today was a Saturday and the dry,
reptilian claw of a hangover gripped his brain. It
squeezed internally, like something contained in a
moist cloth and subject to intense heat. His very
eyes protested. They seemed too big for their
sockets, swollen with fluid and contrasting his
parched brain. Then there was his mouth, also
parched, but tasting foul, as if he had been
sucking on the exhaust pipe of a car all night.

   As he sat on the bog, wanting the tranquillity
and sanctuary of unconsciousness, he inspected
the bruise at his side. It was purple and pained.

   He smiled to himself as he remembered his kick
to the fucker's gut.

   And with this memory other pieces of the
previous evening rose up to scorch his knackered
mind. Oh, how he wished for an unthinking state.

   "The barrel's on tonight," said Steve.
   "Aye, there's yer fuckin' dinner," said Tony,
raising his pint.
   They all laughed.
   "You look at my woman again I'll put you in an
oxygen tent!" threatened the stranger.
   "Yeah, you and whose fuckin' army?" he had
   "Leave it out," said the stranger's girlfriend. But
the stranger knew she fancied Kevin and her

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