Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Here's some 'cheerful' stuff to lighten your day (Yeah, right. Have you forgotten where you are?)

There’s no Glamour in this Tinsel

People talk about bucket lists; y’know, the things you want to do before you kick the bucket? Well, the way things were, my bucket only needed to be about the size of a thimble, ’cause there was only one thing on my must do list.

I wanted to take Vic Newsome kicking and screaming into hell with me.

See, when I was diagnosed with this creeping sickness, my girlfriend was real upset. Poor, Melanie. And Vic, being my best buddy in the whole wide world, thought he was doing me a service by consoling her. Right! You know how those things go. Half a dozen vodkas later and Vic has Mel in the palm of his hand. Literally. One thing led to another and a couple of weeks later Mel’s getting sick on a morning and complaining that she’s getting a bit puffy round the middle. I knew the baby wasn’t mine. Since I’d been taking the meds and the other treatment, we hadn’t slept together. My excuse was the radio active glow coming off my new shiny head. Not that she’d ever admit it but I think that Melanie was repulsed, as though she would catch the dreaded ‘C’ off me.

We split up, of course.

Mel went to see Vic, but this time he wasn’t the consoling friend. He told her to fuck right off and get rid of the baby. Which she promptly organised at the local clinic. Her appointment with a bent coat hanger was for today.

In my eyes, Vic advocated murder.

Well, what’s good for him is good for me. An eye for an eye and all that shit.

So that’s why I lured him round to my pad, plied him with a couple of drinks laced with two dozen of the surplus morphine sulphate tabs from my medicine cabinet. It wasn’t like I was going to need them anymore, was it?

Vic’s a big lump of a lad, and could skull-drag me from one end of a bar to the other even when I was hale and hearty. Shit, when we were growing up, he did it enough times. Dunno why I thought that bastard was a friend. But, tough guy or not, the overload of morphine tablets kind of evened up the score. In fact the asshole couldn’t even lift a hand to stop me from battering his face bloody. Maybe I should’ve halved the dosage of morphine ‘cause it didn’t look much like I was hurting him. In the end, I didn’t have the strength to beat him to a pulp and collapsed on the settee next to him.

He would only last a couple minutes more. But I wouldn’t be far behind him. I downed the rest of the surplus morphine with a tumbler full of whisky.

When I was young I dreamed of my amazing future. I was going to be rich and famous. I was going to celebrate my glorious life, party every day. But the dreams died. The tinsel dimmed and lost its glamour. Now I was sitting next to my oldest friend, spattered by his blood, dying of a drug overdose and of the malignant cells that must by now have invaded my brain. The carnival music that used to play in my head had become a funeral dirge.

It took a few rings for the phone to register in my brain.

Part of me thought that it was Melanie ringing. She would tell me that her tests had been wrong. She was further into the pregnancy than she’d thought. There was no way she was going to terminate our baby. That would have been a mixed blessing, and I was pleased to find that it wasn’t Mel. It was my doctor calling with some amazing news.

The fuckin’ cancer’s gone into remission?



  1. OOOPS!
    Stomach pump time.
    Nice one, Matt.
    Love the 'appointment with a bent coat hanger' line.

  2. Thanks, Col. Just one of those grim stories that comes around now and again. I liked the title 'There's no glamour in this tinsel', which is taken from a song by the way, and the story just built around those lyrics. Song titles and lyrics can give some great ideas to writers when you're struggling for ideas. Give it a go. Here endeth the sermon!

  3. I thought I'd heard of it before; may just take you up on that, but I've another one begging to be written first...

  4. It's a line taken from a country-rock song called Guitars and Cadillacs.
    Look forward to reading the new story.

  5. very, very smooth! Good on yer!

  6. And there was me thinking I was in for a nice cheerful read!!!!!
    Very sparely and slickly written - your writing makes me empathise with characters I'd really rather give a wide berth! (That's supposed to be a compliment :) )

  7. Thanks Clare, I'll take it as such. Sparse and slick - that's me!