‘The early-morning sun eased through the cluttered record shop’s grubby windows and blanched its contents. Flecks of dust floated in the thick air and a scratched copy of The Best of The Eagles leaked out of the paint-flecked sound system. Fat Roy leant back against the stained formica counter, inhaling a spliff. As he farted, tobacco tumbled out of the joint and spilled over his beer gut, which flopped over his too-tight supermarket jeans. His greasy, grey ponytail hung like a rat’s tail down the back of his faded paisley shirt.
A smirk crawled across his face. It looked as if as the joint had finally kicked in. I could see that he was starting to enjoy needling Garner.
Paul Garner just sat there frowning, but then that was his permanent expression. Hangdog. Browbeaten. A face so lived-in squatters wouldn’t stay there. Even as a kid he’d looked like he could be any age from fifteen to fifty, he just had one of those faces. Now the tattooed teardrops and the spider web tattooed around his neck were fading and made him look grubby. His shaven head was constantly flaking. His teeth were like cracked tombstones. He shuffled his skinny frame on a cracked plastic chair. Drained the last of the muddy coffee from the paper cup. His right leg shaking, jumping like he was being electrocuted. He looked even more hot and sweaty than usual. Scratching himself, wiping his clammy brow with the back of a hand. Picking imaginary flecks from his Adidas tracksuit. ‘
This CLIP is from Up The Creek, one of stories in my collection THE LAST LAUGH, published by All Due Respect.