I’ve been having some fun entering the monthly Furious Fiction competition which is run by the Australian Writers Centre. They give away 500 bucks every month so it’s worth a shot.
For some inexplicable reason I keep not winning but fuck it all, seems a waste to leave them on the hard drive so I’ll share them now again when I think of it. Here’s number one to get the show on the road.
Mezcal is fabulous.
Juan was in his own private North Coast Mexico and Jesus was pouring him another shot glass of the heavenly drink.
Jesus Benitez owned the La Maya Bar and Restaurant and did not share anything in common with his namesake. Although, he did have a beard and sported a tattoo of a rose entwined cross on his upper arm.
“What do you think?”.
“I think I’ll have another”.
Juan had drained the shot glass in a thirsty inhale. He sucked on the sliver of lime while the mezcal began its gentle tricks.
Jesus smiled beatifically at Juan.
“Well, then. I now have a special treat, just for you”.
Jesus climbed a step ladder so he could reach the top shelf on which was a line of fantastical bottles with aged fading labels each containing the animating spirit.
Jesus grabbed the last bottle in the row. It was black with a white bas relief skeleton and a gold skull bottle stop.
Jesus reverentially placed the bottle in front of Juan. There was now quite the collection in front of him
“This one is just in. It’s called Rey Juanpero Tepextate”.
Jesus savoured the words as they clicked off his tongue. The consummate salesman.
“That’s easy for you to say”.
“It means, simply, King of The Countryside”.
Juan raised his glass and placed it next to the new bottle.
“Praise be the King”.
The Mezcal was light and smoky. Juan savoured the complex flavours.
“Consider yourself special. You’re the first one to try this”.
Juan put his empty shot glass on the bar.
“I guess I’ll be the second as well”.
Jesus smiled and poured.
The super moon hung low as Juan walked back along the coast to his small apartment. The moon light reflected on the ocean like a pathway to heaven. Juan suddenly felt queasy. He sat on a park bench, regarding the two moons for a while, out of breath and unfit. Below, the lookout carpark was full of P plate lovers, their first taste of freedom and sex and possibility unfolding in the backseats of second hand cars. In the caravan park far below, a bang of unexpected fireworks and the doof doof doof of a far away party cut through the night. Life in a small coastal town wasn’t too bad, thought Juan.
Home at last, he lit a candle, rolled a cigarette and poured himself onto the shabby couch. He was already regretting that last shot of mezcal but was drunk enough to forget about the $140 tab he couldn’t afford.
Since Mel had left he’d indulged his worst impulses. The morning regret would come soon enough and next Friday he would find Jesus once again.
Hope you enjoyed it! If you signup to my blog I’ll give you a free copy of my book of short stories Beautiful Lies and you will be my new favourite. Just pop your name and email in below. I promise I’ll be gentle.