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The International Writers Magazine
: Short Fiction

Take it or leave it
Alan Stokes

I sat behind the wheel, contemplating the space. It seemed big enough, but I wasn't sure. I needed to think about it.
You see, everything's an effort. Nothing, absolutely nothing comes easy to me. I can't do anything without thinking about it. It's like I don't know who I am.

Fuck it.
This is how it is.
I have no control over my life. Things are not okay. I'm falling apart. I've fallen apart. I don't know what to do anymore. I can't make a decision about anything. I don't know whether I want milk in my coffee. Soon as I light a cigarette I stub it out. I keep picking up the phone, but there's no one there. This morning I woke up and found myself in the bath. That killed me that. That's why I went to see Delia.
Delia's my neighbour. She lives in the flat on the ground floor with a dog I never see because apparently it's small and white and everything in Delia's flat - the carpet, the walls, everything - is white too so I suppose it just merges into the overall whiteness surrounding it or maybe it doesn't exist, who knows.
Only Delia wasn't in.
So now I'm in the car.
I leave the engine running, get out and lean against the bonnet. I take my cigarettes out my pocket and light one.
I puff on it.
Then I get back in and slam the pedal down to the floor and shoot backwards through the gate and out into the road.
That's my statement.
That's how I remember it.

© Alan Stokes March 2005

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