Sweet, but I am Dead

This was another Furious Fiction, February I think? Yep, found it, here’s the prompts:

  • Each story’s first sentence had to include something being POPPED.
  • Each story had to include a character referencing a FILM title.
  • Each story had to include the words LEAP, BOTTLE and SHADOW. (Longer variations were okay if original spelling was retained.)

Not sure I nailed the prompts In fact, when I would send some of my entries to my friend Robert Fairhead of Tall and True, he’d sometimes point that out. Meh, oh well. Again, it was fun just doing it.

Though, time to admit that I secretly burn inside when I don’t win, haha.


It might be romantic but it’s completely surreal the way he’s down on one knee, ring in hand, and I have recently died.

And Michael, Mick to his mates, is here in front of me despite his FIFO schedule having him rostered for another week of 12-hour night shifts driving one of those giant fucking earth-movers. If he’s here it either means he’s quit or they don’t know he’s gone. Either way, the job is lost. Yet he’s still fronted up with a ring, cheeky thing.

I’d told him I didn’t want a ring.

I’d told him to think about all the things we could get instead. A better crib than the second-hand monster his mother insisted on. One of those shit-hot prams that you see the mum-fits behind along the beach paths. Even one of those milking machines he’s so excited about. He hates that I call them that but he’s adamant that he get up in the night and feed too, even though he’s never held a bottle in his life.

Well, not a bottle like that.

Mick’s dad was a drunk and his dad’s dad was a drunk, and he likes to joke that he comes from a long line of alcos and his more-functional self is the product of evolution. I’ve never found it particularly funny but he’s never hit me, never even looked like he would, so all I really had to put up with is the snoring. On the nights I stayed over anyway.

I’d only just signed my lease for another year when Mick and I collided that first night, him too drunk to remember a condom and me too broken to think of such things, but I only remember the timeline because he keeps talking about when I can finally move in.

It doesn’t matter now though, I am dead. Mick doesn’t know I’ve died. His expectant blue eyes gazing at me while the gift baskets of nappies and onesies attempt to taunt me from the end of the hospital bed. I might feel better setting fire to them, the end of their existence a blazing, death-shaped shadow up the shit-yellow walls. I could tear down this room, this building, as I fall, taking everything in reach with me as I spiral downward.

But even that attempts to be romantic in the surreality of this moment. He’s waiting. He believes he’s taking a leap of faith, giving it all up for me. For us. I’m the one that was giving up everything. My body, my freedom, my future. I was ready to give my life to find life’s greatest treasures, but now there nothing to give.

In the early days, before I was showing, we watched that Seth Rogen rom-com and joked that he was Ben and I was Alison. It kept us sane, for a bit. But now I am dead.

I hear my voice from somewhere inside the hospital pillow. “Thanks mate, but this isn’t Knocked Up. Not any more.”