Patrick Chapman

The Negative Cutter

Isbn: 9781851320899

from Anhedonia

The social committee at Ampersand Bailey Ampersand had chosen a Wild West theme for the agency’s client Christmas party. This was now entering its third hour in a function room of the Bush Hotel, a marketing-driven venue that, according to its literature, prided itself on being luxurious and efficient. The hotel’s owners failed to understand that you could not truly be both at the same time. Tony Bright knew, because he had written the literature in question and had objected to that wording but was overruled. He imagined that she knew too – Dora Potts, a striking brunette who worked in the accounts department of the biscuit company for whom &B& created the advertising. She was out there in the crowd and he didn’t think he was in with a shout. There were too many well-adjusted cowboys between him and her.

from The Negative Cutter

Thunder fucked the sky. A sonic boom broke in the air and died away. The bedroom window rattled, distorting the face of a waxing gibbous moon that flung droplet shadows at the opposite wall. Krista was unperturbed by the sudden blast of noise. She and Raimi had not been sleeping. Now she turned over into the empty warm depression that still held his fading aftershave, a scent known as Fadó. There was another odour too, of mint and latex and the byproducts of degrading cells. Without much thought she picked the condom up from the sheet and flung it at the basket beside the TV; for the first time that night, her lover’s seed found a target. She listened to his urine sloshing into the bowl before the change of note as he ran the tap to wash his hands and the pipes set up a screech that would not die for minutes yet. Krista hated how Raimi wasted water like he had invented it.