Moving

When we moved Kieran's bed, we found a carpet of dust as thick as a fat man's finger, exactly the same shape and size as the bedframe. Dead skin, shed hairs, three red paperclips. "Have we got time to hoover?" I asked. I got a stare: "All the years we've lived here, NOW you want to do some housework?!" We had to step around Kieran on the stairs. I lightly bumped the top of his head with one of my boxes, “Ooh this is heavy!” No offer of help. He wouldn't talk to either of us as we drove off, just stared out the back passenger window. We followed the moving van, listening to Ken Bruce doing 'Pop Master'. Occasionally, we'd hear the odd right answer mumbled from behind us. We hoped the new place would bring happier times. My dad hadn't been the same since his accident at work.
by
Nick Black
@fuzzynick
Can You Illustrate This Piece?

1. Read the details here
2. Send your art to moving@adhocfiction.com

The Sac That Was Our Living Room Ceiling

The flat upstairs. It's their escaped water, low slung in the sac that was our living room ceiling. Icy cold drops sweat along the pregnant plaster, grow plump, fall down - we had to move the couch. The floorboards are dotted with filling bowls. Some day (or night) soon, the whole lot's going to finally burst. My family nag me to call the landlord but I hate confrontation. I say I'll call him tomorrow, after the weekend, after Christmas. I know they're losing respect for me over this. I hate that I'm supposed to be the one to deal with problems. This isn't our country. I don't like to make waves. Meanwhile, the sagging over our heads undulates and sways with its own incomprehensible tides.

Credits

fiction by
Nick Black
@fuzzynick

image by
kerry rawlinson
kerryrawlinson.tumblr

©
creators

...And tied in a bow

You tease my heartstrings out and tie them in a bow. But not before you've YANKED with all your might, unreeled me to my spinning, naked core. Not until you’ve run with my quick around the neighbourhood, twice, (I grab the door frame with both hands, not to be dragged after), wrapped my sweet and tenders ‘round house and lamp post and dazed-looking dog. (The door frame’s splintering.) THEN we get to the neat, tidy bow. Not as light as you’d think birds alight on my wires. After-school kids use my innards for skipping. Total strangers stumble over me. The Special Brew crew use my elastics as hammocks in the lager-y light of evening. I’m all out there. Spooling through this pinhole in my chest. That's what you do to me. Every single day. And every day I come back for more.
by
Nick Black
@fuzzynick
Can You Illustrate This Piece?

1. Read the details here
2. Send your art to andtiedinabow@adhocfiction.com

My Wife's Perfect Pitch

My wife has perfect pitch: flush a toilet, she’ll tell you what key it’s in. So when she of all people said she thinks my voice is breaking again, in the other direction, there wasn’t much point protesting. Especially in my embarrassing new falsetto. It’s like one of those snakes in a can, leaps out when you’re least prepared. Since she spoke up, in her even, adult tone, I can no longer ignore the way my colleagues flinch when I’m on the phone to clients. I can’t unsee Des, at the next desk, whose right eye violently tics whenever my jaw drops to speak. My wife runs a hand over me under the duvet. She tries to make it seem affectionate but I know she’s feeling for smoothness that wasn’t there yesterday. Cups here, gently brushes her fingertips there. I moan a little, politely. The manliest moan I can manage.
by
Nick Black
@fuzzynick
Can You Illustrate This Piece?

1. Read the details here
2. Send your art to mywifesperfectpitch@adhocfiction.com

Positive and Negative

Positive and Negative

Suck on a battery (the copper-headed ones last longer – throw in a Werthers Original at the same time to really get your teeth rattling). Run a well-licked finger ‘round a plug socket. Feel alive. I feel like joylessly microwaved death. My husband’s taken the kids with him to Lidl to give me a break, but they’ll be back eventually, they have to come back eventually. Our flat roars with the as-yet-unborne noise of their return, the front door trembling to be burst out of its frame. Potential energy. I wish that I had the potential for energy. I put my cheek against the TV screen – Judge Rinder’s on – to feel the crackle against my skin. Everything flickers in the corner of my eye. I hear the door, and swallow something. Hope it was the Werther’s

Credits

fiction
by

Nick Black
@fuzzynick

©
creator