by Gaynor Jones
We chose that particular liquor for the childish taste, like pepper-spiced chocolate milk. The heat of it kicked back in my throat as I drank it down, then burned me as it came back up again, a few hours later.
The bathroom fills with noise. The gurgles from our stomachs fighting the gurgles from the drain, struggling to cope with each fresh purge. The choking tears of her younger brother,wailing that he never wants to drink again. Someone in the distance playing the opening chords of Come As You Are, badly. One of the older boys grunting and tapping along with it.
My heavy lipstick smeared up to my nostrils; the soapy smell of it turning my stomach again and again. Her mother patting at my face with a damp flannel that smells like childhood baths. Her large hands rubbing my back or holding my hair, gentle even as she berates us. In the mirror I see double, or it might be my current best friend, our same ginger hair streaked pink, our matching Nirvana t-shirts and tie dye skirts doing a good job of hiding the spatters. Her brother sitting on the toilet, white face blotched with dark brown freckles. He is still crying.
I fold myself into the laundry basket, and curl up in the dank towels.
Gaynor Jones is an award winning writer based in Manchester, U.K. she writes short fiction and is currently working on her debut short story collection.