Dylan and I have been writing a book of pointless short stories for people who are awful. Would you like to read one? Oh go on then.
The old woman sat on the threadbare bunk bed with her face in her hands, greasy strands of hair slipping between her fingers.
She was cold and scared, and definitely not hungry.
“The ham and egg is pretty good, if you’re into that. I’m an apple man myself. Or maybe rhubarb. Ohh, rhubarb and custard? Forget about it!”
She ignored the man, and let her mind wander. They had locked her up like the animal she probably was, but her mind was still free.
It went to the same place it always did. That warm Thursday morning in July, her daughter's tearful admission that had wiped all judgment and reason away. She'd done the only thing she could think of. Anyone would have done the same. A mother must protect her daughter, after all.
“...They do a good peach cobbler, mind you. And the lemon meringue never goes amiss. Do you like sweet pies? I love ‘em. But I could get behind a decent steak and mushroom on a cold winter’s night like tonight. Would you like that? Maybe a nice homey chicken and leek?”
She remembered the man’s face as his life slipped away. She remembered the sweet metallic scent of blood in the air, and the cold metallic feel tightly gripped in her hands. She had felt anger, and relief that he couldn’t hurt her little girl anymore. She had felt powerful and sick.
The only thing she hadn’t felt was regret.
“... Or perhaps a butter chicken pie? It’s a curry inside a pie! No one can say no to that!”
Good God that guard was chatty. She had perhaps an hour left, and it felt as though the guard was swallowing every second whole like one of his precious... fucking... pies.
“Are you sure I can’t tempt you with a nice savoury mince and cheese? They might even have some lamb and mint ones left.” The guard smacked his lips wetly. “My mum used to make a fantastic leg of lamb with mint sauce. Made you glad to be alive.”
She scowled. “I’m not hungry.” she snapped. “And I don’t like pies.”
He looked incredulous. “You don’t like pies? Ah well that’s a shame. Do you like Mexican food? Tomorrow’s fajita day, you might like that better.”
He left, whistling tunelessly. She turned away and stared blankly at her cell wall. She was only human. She couldn’t have predicted what would happen that day. She hadn't meant to... She had only reacted as a human would have. And now she was sorry. So painfully sorry, like a human would be, and what had happened was inhumane.
Her only child wouldn't speak to her, and she was going to die.
“Time to go, inmate.”
She jerked her head up sharply from her reverie and nodded. She knew her final words. She would make her daughter understand.
She was walked down the corridor, the guard’s shoes clicked ominously against the concrete floor yet her own footsteps were oddly silent. It was as though she had already ceased to exist.
The room smelled of antiseptic and fear. Her own fear was added when they strapped her to the gurney and rolled up her sleeve to find her vein. She swallowed hard and tried to slow her breathing. A small group of tired, depressed looking people watched her through a big glass window. She turned her head, looking for her daughter, but she wasn't there. Her face crumpled.
She began to sob as the warden read from a piece of paper, detailing her crime and her sentence.
“Any last words?” A gentle voice asked her just out of sight.
Someone wiped the tears off her face with a wet cloth. It was probably the last compassionate touch she'd ever feel. She struggled to get her breathing under control, and began.
"I’ll try not to not mince my words. There’s a reason why you’ve brought me here, like a lamb to the slaughter. I did a terrible thing, butter was for the sake of my girl… my only girl… If any of you had been in the same pastry - uh, place as I was, perhaps you would have done eggsactly the same thing."
The warden snorted incredulously.
“I never mint for any of this to happen, you have to understand that. I know there’s not mushroom for excuses and at this point I’m not trying to curry any favour here --”
"Is she hungry?" A voice inquired.
"Well, I did offer ," the guard explained, “She doesn't like pies."
“But today is pie day,” someone protested.
“Please!” she cried. “If you could just listen to what I ham to say--”
“SHE JUST SAID HAM.”Somebody laughed. “WHAT AN IDIOT!”
“No! It was a misteak - If you would just…” She panicked, frustrated that she couldn’t cobbler together a sentence. “CUSTARD?!”
The guards started chuckling and the people behind the glass giggled behind their hands. Soon the laughter grew and became completely uncontrolled and raucous.Her face flushed bright red. She was so embarrassed she could have died.
We hope to have a complete book probably sometime next year. I'm also working again on my gay fairytales. The future has never looked brighter, friends. Tell me what you think!