Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Because he was a grass they kicked his head in. Cracked his skull with pick axe handles.

    What happened was this: he got nicked coming out of his dealers with two ounces of skunk that he’d picked up for a mate. The filth put him in a cell with two real bad boys who were in for murder. Then next day in the interview room they made their offer. Possession with intent to supply, they said. Ten years, they said. I never told them nothing he told me but I didn’t believe him. Nobody did.

    His brain swelled and he was comatose for a while. Signed off on the sick. Constantly gobbling the smarties; temgesic, distalgesic, temazepam. He would sell you a handful for a couple of quid. Always on the make, the scrounge. Lend us a tenner till I get me dole.

    He was good for it, though. When he got paid he would buy everyone a drink, hand out fags, order take-aways. For a couple of days he was the life and soul. Host with the most. Then he’d be round again. Lend us a fiver and if I had it I would.

    But he used to kick off sometimes. Go mental.

    One time I went round to his and he was trying to stuff his girlfriend’s kittens into a rucksack. These fucking cats he shrieked. Every time he turned around to try and grab one, the ones already in the bag popped out. But he didn’t stop, not for ages. Sweating. Veins throbbing.

    Most Saturday nights he would hang a Ted Baker shirt over his little beer belly, pull on smart jeans and loafers and head into town smiling and whistling to himself. Zip-a-dee-doo-da. Eight or nine pints and that’s on top of the medication. Then a fight. In the morning he would hold court from his sofa, face bruised and puffy, eyes swollen almost shut. I’m going get some boys, he would say through thick lips, go back up there next week and sort them right out. Because I’m a battler. I’ve always been a battler.

    Then just like that he was gone. Apparently he’d borrowed money from the wrong people and had to do a runner. Some said he was dead. Someone else said he was in Jamaica, growing his own.

    Bumped into him the other day. Hello, mate, he said. Showed me the photos; wife, kids. Nice house in some mountains near Kingston. Blue sky. And I’m off the tablets and the beer he said. It’s just coffee and ganja for me now. And he looked good on it, too. Tanned and healthy.

    What brings you back to this dump? I asked. He smiled and started to answer but then his face collapsed as he looked past me and saw someone there.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.