The Pint of No Return

by Paul Brazill

Angie and Peter had been joined at the waist for just over a year before the cracks started appearing in what Peter had, until then, considered to be, at least for him, a fairly solid relationship, despite it’s sporadically psychotic episodes, which were invariable acerbated by copious amounts of alcohol. It was as winter melted into spring that the foundations of the house of love started to shake, a time that coincided with the reappearance of a blast from Angie’s past in the corpulent shape of her erstwhile fiance Billy Carr. As the months wore on, Peter’s temper was increasingly inflamed by Billy and Angie’s shameless flirting and so it was that one wet and windy night in May, after a particularly prolific drinking session, that he challenged Billy to what, once upon a time, would have been referred to as a duel and they both ended up in a dark and dingy alley, outside the Methodist church, stripped to the waist in the pouring rain, only illuminated by the light from a stained glass window. Billy bopped around like Mohammad Ali, albeit a fat white and wheezy Ali, as Peter took off his horn rimmed glasses and carefully placed them on a wheelie bin for safekeeping only to turn around and be sucker punched by a big pink blancmange which sent him hurtling into a pile of black bin bags that spilled their rancid contents across the alley. "And let that be a lesson to you," Peter said to Billy who was towering over him like a gloating Godzilla over a demolished Tokyo. "Wanker," replied puffing Billy before triumphantly waddling off, hand in glove with Angie, leaving Peter to light a cigarette, lay back, close his eyes and inhale deeply in a manner that he hoped was reminiscent of Jean-Paul Belmondo at the close of Jean-Luc Godard’s À Bout de Souffle.


Paul Brazill is from Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He blogs here.