by Helena Lönnberg
She rose from a pillow that smelt like last night, of cold smoke and rain on tarmac. The mirror was cracked but her teeth weren’t, so it was all good. A good morning.
Somebody knocked on the door just as she put on her rough jeans. The blue cotton slid over brown thighs, enclosed a waist that had changed size many times. Right now it was slim and bony, one could count the ribs if one wanted to. But there was nobody around to care, so it was all good.
Dale comes swinging in through the double doors in a cloud of smoke and I tell you, I’ve had long-burnt chips in the oven that’ve smelled better than that. So I ask him,
“Dale, how’d it go in there?” and he says,
“Oh dandy, Chris, just fine. Like a furnace in there as always, but just fine.”
I can see his goggles have gone and he’s covered in soot, but his hood’s still on and he’s all suited up, so it must have been an okay run. I stick the air conditioning on: high.
Ozymandias gets slung out of a nightclub. He’s in the gutter swilling teeth, jaw shattered against the kerb.
Babylon was his once; he was ‘the man’, the ‘king of kings’: money, Maserati and gold tooth gleaming.