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Tom Mead

Cold Turkey

Marko by Andrew Stevovich

Today I will be better is what he would think if he could put it into words, but it is six-thirty in the morning and he is studying his pudgy self in the full-length mirror and wanting to cry or puke, he cannot decide which, but soon his guts will make the decision for him.

He has heard the cravings likened to a hunger, but that is only half the story. For him they are a chasm in his chest. A sizzle in his nerve endings. Mornings are the worst.

Parchment-yellow fingertips quiver as he buttons up his shirt… all the way to the neck. The faintest brush of knuckle on turkey-like jowl and his gorge surges till it tingles the underside of his uvula. A few dry heaves and a sip of water (little more than a teaspoon) and he is thumping down the stairs and out the door into the crackling indifferent chill of the dead streets.

His teeth chatter as he walks- soon he will be jostled from side to side by the train’s ugly palpations- there will be elbows and knees and hacking coughs and foul body odour. And then he will be at a desk in a room full of happy people- he will stare at a screen with a biro in his hand- and it may take a few minutes before he realises the tip of the biro is between his lips, filling the vacant spot in his mouth.


About the Writer:
Tom Mead is a UK-based writer of short fiction. Examples of his work have been published by Litro Online, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine as well as by a number of fiction anthologies.

Image: Marko by Andrew Stevovich (contemporary). Oil on linen. 6.25 x 4.25 inches. 2013. By free license.

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