Girls Night Out by Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

Suppose this man with his sovereign ring doesn’t punch you square in the face, and the bridge of your nose—pierced only Wednesday on a whim for your twentieth birthday—doesn’t pop like a champagne cork, your blood Jackson Pollock the ground.

Suppose you’ve not burst from the bar onto Clapham High Street, like a Catherine Wheel spinning with all the good shit that’s aligned all at once just for you; party streamers stuck to your monkey boots, the dye from the crepe paper leaching red on the puddled pavement. He hasn’t leant himself up against the bus shelter, pulled out his cock, started pissing on the plastic seats. And you―high and happy and invincible with your nose stud and new friends and it’s raining men hallelujah.

Suppose he doesn’t need to know oi who you looking at? and it hasn’t been only six months since you dropped dry soil from clenched fists onto your father’s coffin and left the cemetery with a bounce in your formal black pumps, swore to never be afraid again.

And suppose when you see Sovereign Man for the last time—his mates slapping him on the back, nice one mate—it’s through the window of a vehicle with an orange light, not blue, not flashing, and the driver doesn’t ask about your blood group, he wants to talk about the price of petrol and how it’s all gone to the dogs, how this job will be the death of him, the violence, the fighting, not just the boys but the girls and how you wouldn’t understand. And you twiddle your nose stud and rest your head against the cab window, and on the street there are women dancing and partying, and looking wherever the hell it suits them.

Kathryn Aldridge-Morris has flash fiction in journals including Pithead Chapel, Flash Frog, Ellipsis Zine, Bending Genres, Bracken Magazine, Emerge Journal, and Janus Literary. Her work also appears in several anthologies, most recently ‘And if that Mockingbird Don’t Sing’ and the Bath Flash Fiction Award Anthology. Tweets @kazbarwrites