Saturday 24 June 2023

'Trashed' by James Montgomery

Dean is home alone and his phone pings are you alright sweetheart and I’m worried about you because his mum’s in London for a conference overnight so he told Liam and Isiah and Reuben and Becky and basically everyone in his year to come round because who says no to free booze and especially a free house but it’s gone 11 and no one’s arrived and he told himself at 7 and 8 and 9 give it time Dean give it time but now it’s gone 11 and still no one’s here and he’s trying to convince himself those fucking red cups on the kitchen side were meant to be ironic so he opens a beer and rubs his eyes but he’s shaking and the can falls and spills all over the floor and the spreading amber pool looks wrong but feels oh so right and in his head he hears his mum’s soft sigh and he roars kicks a door rips open cupboards smashes plates capsizes crisp bowls hurls a vase Sharpies a giant cock and balls on the wall boots the cat’s bowl spits screams shatters a mirror hits his face pulls his hair punches plaster again again again until his knuckles are bleeding and sore and he is nothing but heart lungs muscle raw and he releases something between a howl and a sob and curls up and grows small and surveys the mess he’s in and the mess he’s made and thinks of his mum but it’s OK he thinks it’s alright because his mum will rant and rave and despair at the damage and cost but at least she won’t have to worry anymore because she’ll know he’s a nice, normal teenage boy with friends.

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Congratulations to our 2023 Pushcart Prize Nominees!

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