Monday, 29 June 2015

The Words

Too much mirth for lad from Perth in a recent post for Sheryl Gwyther's 52-Week Flash Fiction Challenge on Facebook.
The Words (497 words) 
‘So it’s a poem?’ I yelled to Rory over the rabble of the pub. A Saturday night in Dublin and we were packed into Limericks like sardines and having a whale of a time. 
It was my last night out before I was due to fly home to my life as a Cottesloe surf life saver. Rory wrote for The Irish Times. We’d met nearly ten years ago when I’d first visited Ireland on a school exchange and played on Rory’s hurling team. 
‘A limerick, my friend,’ he said, tapping the chalk board sign at the end of the bar. FREE PINT FOR A LIMERICK it said. ‘It’s an Irish institution, right beside leprechauns and four leaf clovers.’ 
Rory smiled and cleared his throat to ensure the barmaid was listening, 
‘There once was a fellow from Aussie 
Got bit on the arse by a mozzie,’ he paused for effect, 
‘He knew all was not well 
When it started to swell 
And he couldn't fit into his cossie!’’ He cackled with laughter. 
‘Mad bastard!’ I laughed, clacking my pint against his. 
‘Now your turn!’ said Rory, cradling his freshly poured companion. 
‘For what?’ I asked. 
‘To come up with a limerick!’ 
‘Eh? Oh, no, no, no! I don’t have the words. You’ve the gift of the gab. I just look good in budgie smugglers.’ 
‘Budgie smugglers?’ Rory grimaced. ‘Go on, let your Gat do the talking. What’s to be lost?’ 
I clamped my mouth shut. 
Somewhere between the merriment of the fourth pint and the mirth of the fifth, things went arseways. 
My phone woke me from an awkward sleep on Rory’s couch and I did my best to clear the fog and piece together the cloudy fragments of the night before. 
It was a text from Rory: ‘No one looks good in budgie smugglers. Now you’ll always have the words. Until Perth.’ 
I hadn’t a clue what he was on about, but I needed to high tail it to the airport. I grabbed my pack and bolted out the door. 
Standing on the packed airport bus, I wasn’t feeling as chipper as I’d have liked, but that was soon trumped by an increasing discomfort in my left bum cheek. 
I checked in at the airport in the nick of time, swiftly found the toilets and locked myself in a cubicle. With my pants and jocks around my ankles I twisted my head around awkwardly and looked down to discover my left bum cheek covered by a sizeable bandage. 
My heart sank. 
I gingerly pulled it back, and there, etched into my bum for perpetuity, I made out the words of Rory’s fine, pint-winning limerick, flanked by a leprechaun and a four leaf clover.  
‘Bastard!’ I winced, I’d give him the words.

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