by Mercedes Lawry
Ah, come with me down to the pub, won’t you? Just for awhile. I can’t stand my own self anymore, the thoughts rooting around in my head like daft pigs. I’ve no calm anywhere. The rats may as well be gnawing at my bones all night for the sleep I get. Come, just for one. I promise I won’t make a scene and start blubbing again. I know you hate that. I’ve no need to play the sobbing fool in the corner week after week. I’m pulling together, but you know, it’s a vast and terrible task. It’s turning yourself inside out, it is. I just need a couple of sips to settle myself. Something to ease me so I can sleep. I’m desperate for sleep. They wouldn’t give me the pills, the buggers. I’m not an addict I told them. Like talking to a wall. What’s the first thing that’ll put you in the loony bin? Lack of sleep. Well, maybe not the first compared to seeing your husband murdered in front of your very eyes – that’ll do it. But no, sleep is second without a doubt. You’d think the doctors would know that, the muffheads. Sure, I can probably get something from Joe down at the auto but you don’t know what you’re getting from the street, do you? It’s a risk. I can’t be taking a risk when I’m trying to get Marin back, can I? My own mum says I’m not ready – what would she know about it - wasn’t she a shit mum herself most of the time? They all say I didn’t love Aidan so why am I acting the grieving widow? Besides he was a thieving scum and was bound to end up dead for his crimes, better now than later. It’s no lie I wished him dead myself more than once but that was the theoretical – more a quiet slipping into the sea than a thunder of gunfire and blood everywhere. Mary, Mother of God, what a mess. It’s the PTSD I have now for sure on top of my nerves which were never anything but raggedy. Please, love, I’m buying, just the one. Wouldn’t it have been grand to get the life insurance out of Aidan? Though who with half a deck would’ve sold it to him? You know I can’t walk in there on my own. You’d be my guardian angel. It’s a kindness I’m asking for and you’re a kind soul, you always were. I’m in the hour of need here.
Mercedes Lawry has published short fiction in several journals including, Gravel, Cleaver, Garbanzo, and Blotterature and was a semi-finalist in The Best Small Fictions 2016. She’s published poetry in journals such as Poetry, Nimrod, & Prairie Schooner and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. She has a book forthcoming from Twelve Winters Press in 2018. Additionally, she’s published stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.