Free Writing No. 4 – Stories with Unhappy Endings

I genuinely struggle with happy endings. Always have!


 

“Relationships are bullshit.” Michael spat, before taking another large gulp from his beer. He was probably on about nine by now, and Amy was becoming mildly concerned. He was a big guy, and if he was angry and drunk, she was pretty sure she couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to do. Or stop him from doing anything she didn’t want him to.

“They’ve only been going out for a few weeks, Mike.” She tried to calm him, pouring cool water onto his swirling, chaotic fire.

“Yeah, Amy, and I’ve not seen him once in those two weeks. Not even a text message. He’s supposed to be my best friend.” It was sad to see such a physically strong person so weak over something like that.

“I know…” Amy tried to be sympathetic. She rubbed one of his arms soothingly, but if he noticed he didn’t react in the slightest.

“Man, women just swoop in and fuck everything up.” He threw his hands in the air, unbalancing her slightly and sending beer flying. Amy was immediately put on the defensive. Michael would probably never hurt her, not intentionally, but he had a reputation for getting out of control after a few drinks that she’d seen firsthand. She’d seen him lay out guys with a single punch for catcalling her on nights out.

“Hey, I’m going to have to take some offence to that.” She told him, trying to sound like she was joking. She was only sort of joking.

“You know what I mean…” Michael mumbled, “Women, Men, relationships, they make everything so much messier.”

“Yeah, I know. Or, I guess, I would know if anyone ever gave me the time of day.” She tucked her hair behind her ear, then immediately panicked that maybe she was giving signals to her gigantic drinking buddy. The thought that he could overpower her without even breaking a sweat spiked into her head again, like a knife cutting through her thoughts.

“Come on, Amy, you’re a prime catch.” He smiled at her. She’d only know him for about six months, since they’d both ended up on the same pub quiz team. Somewhere their friendship circles overlapped, and since he liked to drink, and she worked behind the bar, the two of them talked often.

“I mean, you’re not my type. I think I’d probably snap you in two.” He continued, rumbling laughter following his comment.

Thank god for that, she thought. It was true, she was petite to say the least. All skin and bones, as her mum always said. When she was at school, her friends had always told her that they wished they could be as skinny as she was. They wished they could still fit in children’s clothes. The boys called her Anorexia Amy, which cut to the bone and resonated in her brain even now, on the darkest nights.

“Think maybe it’s time to call it a night?” She asked him, hoping that he’d take the hint and maybe get some sleep. Maybe it’d all look better in the morning.

“Huh, yeah…” He agreed, opening his wallet, “I got nothing left to spend on drowning anyway.”

He slid off the barstool, standing a good foot and a half above her.

“Walk me to my car?” She smiled. She’d been working, so just the one glass of wine tonight.

“Sure, I’ll play the gentleman tonight.” He replied, and she laughed, punching him on the arm. It was like punching a rock.

They stepped outside to find Maria stood smoking by the door. Maria was the cougarish lady that frequented the bar most nights, and usually left with a different man every time. Amy didn’t blame her, she was a good looking woman and she may as well enjoy herself.

“Careful with that one, Amy,” she drawled, “He looks like something out of Lord of The Dance or whatever.”

“Rings, Maria, I think you mean Lord of the Rings.” Amy corrected her.

“Whatever.” She huffed.

“Hey Mike, you want a lift home?” Amy turned to her friend.

“Yeah, that’d be nice. I’ll try not to throw up in your little smartcar.” He smiled.

“Yeah, let’s not do that please.”

Neither of them saw the shadows shift and darken and take on human form. Neither of them saw that humanoid shadow step forward and slit Maria’s throat.

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