I WAS IN DRESDEN | In Emma Dawson’s short fiction, a care-free evening and a tragic accident are connected by the same night.
by Emma Dawson
I was in Dresden, visiting Isle, and we were walking down the street as it pissed it down, having been for drinks, and I tried a traditional Dresden University shot, which was mango-flavoured, even though I never drink shots, not me, and she had a New England Iced Tea with four different spirits in it at least, and I had a real rum and coke with golden spiced rum, which they never had in Heidelberg when I visited Karl, except in one place, and it’s the only way to drink it, even Isle agreed, and she’s drank far more than me in her life, and we sat in this new bar with only one other couple in it and they were fondling each other a lot, and the waitress’s tiny apron only just covered her shorts, and I was appalled, thinking that she was being made to wear this, though later I was not sure, and Isle and I talked about sexual pleasure and how she had gone to the next town last week and had a supremely excellent fuck with a guy she met on Tinder and how I would never meet a stranger if I were single because that would require more trust than I have, and afterwards we were walking home and the streets were starting to flood, so we couldn’t even stay remotely dry, and we shrieked and dodged and had a real blast, I sang Singin’ in the Rain and swung round a lamppost, which I’d always wanted to do, and we nearly got hit by a motorbike because we were having such a good time that we forgot to check the lights at the crossing, getting soaked was such fun, and my only jeans were so sopping the next day that Isle dried them with an iron and hairdryer, and she doubted my boots would be dry enough for me to go home in, but was wrong, and then we found out that four people had died in the storms in Saxony that night, and I didn’t understand.
Emma Dawson | @emmaruthdawson
Emma Dawson is a 26-year-old playwright and short story writer who works at the Southbank Centre. Her short stories have been published by Dear Damsels and Inkapture and her short plays have been performed at Theatre503, Pleasance Theatre, and Battersea Arts Centre.