For the last few weeks I’ve been working on a new writing piece, something a little closer to home than Intersections or the Dan Murrick stories. It’s called Fluke Street, and to give you an idea of what it’s like, here’s an excerpt:
Dirk gently dipped the end of the bearclaw into the wide bucket, watching as the glistening amber liquid sunk into the crevices of the baked delicacy. The smell that was then conjugated might’ve seemed malodorous to the casual observer, but since it combined Dirk’s two favourite consumables – being donuts and scotch – it was the perfect substitute for both breakfast and aspirin.
As he began biting into the softened bearclaw he surveyed his immediate area; the detritus from last night’s bachelor party was titanic, consisting predominantly of bits of streamers orphaned from their poppers or smashed Cuvee glasses that now only existed as shards of glinting spikes strewn across the floor like land mines. There were no longer any bodies in the place, with the other occupants having apparently departed during the night.
How long ago would night have been?
He checked his Guess watch – the time displayed was just after two in the afternoon. He’d been asleep for a long, long time, hopefully long enough for the paddle bruises to have faded to a dull yellow.
The bitter taste of the scotch bearclaw refreshed his mind somewhat, bringing him slightly out of his dazed state. Somewhere, distantly, he picked up the sound of a kettle boiling. Kettle meant other people. Other people meant potential embarrassment.
His opening statement of, “Is anyone there?” came out muffled and slurry, sounding more like, “If ammymom bear?” He slowly began to lever his deadened body upwards, hearing bones that felt long-unused begin to crack into animation.
It felt like an eternity before a mellifluous reply issued from the kitchen. “I hope you’re a fan of black, Mr Strange.”
Dirk bent his neck and heard the vertebrae creak into place, taking a moment to recognise the voice. It seemed his chances for personal embarrassment had climbed. “Shouldn’t you be at work, Miranda?”
“Clocked out early,” was the response he heard over the shrieking of the boiled kettle. The quiet tone of water pouring into the strainer filled the silence between her response and the presentation of Dirk’s favourite mug to the table next to his unfurling body.
The coffee was A-Grade, probably taken straight from Espress-To-Go. Dirk idly wondered whether Miranda had snuck out with it or bought it for him as a wonderful wake-up-and-smell-last-night’s-vomit present as he sipped slowly, allowing the brown-black liquid to cascade down his soured throat.
“You should be right as rain in a few minutes,” Miranda commented, sitting on the half-broken couch next to Dirk’s patch of slept-on floor. Her curved body fit perfectly in the imprint Darrel had made when he elbow-barged the chair last night. “I also cleaned up your bathroom a bit – it’ll be quite necessary once the java kicks in properly.”
Dirk inclined his head gently, gesturing his mug towards her. “You’re a gem.”
Miranda grinned fiendishly. “And now you owe me.”
He groaned around the coffee rushing into his mouth. “Again? How many times does that make?”
“Twelve, that I’ve counted,” she replied. “Which means it’ll be your twelfth volunteer shift once you’re sobered up.”
“Who says altruism is dead?” Dirk asked, consuming the last of the coffee.
The woman chuckled gently, like the first rays of morning sun that would’ve illuminated parts of Dirk’s unconscious form. “I’d better head off.”
Dirk made a thoughtful noise. “Tell me how it goes after.”
She nodded and rose from the broken chair, moving for the door. Her head turned back slightly as she worked the doorknob. “Burgundy called earlier, says he needs to talk when you’ve got a sec.”
He felt his spirit lift slightly at the thought of a conversation with Burgundy. “If you see him, let him know I’ll be right along.”
“Yeah, right, like I’m headed to the Hole anytime soon.” She brushed a few loose strands of hair away then exited the house without another word.
A sudden feeling of bowel movement made its way through Dirk as the coffee began to take effect. All partial rigor mortis and cracked bones evacuated him as he leapt from the floor and bounded for the bathroom. The dim curtain that shrouded most of his memories and thought processes began to lift as the stream of urine shot out and struck the toilet bowl like an archery target.
“Dirk?” shouted the man who, until now, must have been unconscious in the room adjacent to the toilet. “Do I smell coffee?”
Dirk Strange smiled, hearing his roommate clumsily get out of bed next door. He could already tell it was going to be a good day.
So what’d you guys think? Hit the comments section and let me know. Constructive feedback is always appreciated!
Now I feel like donuts for some reason…