Links to Previous chapters –

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

“…and that is how I turned the Macarena into a game of Simon Says!” Molly belted out, loud enough that Fraser was pulled from his own semi-drunk musings. It had entirely passed his mind that he was still there in the pub, and, as much as he loved being there, he was beginning to hate it. 

There was a point in every drinker’s life when being near a bar seemed as important as breathing. And there was also a point where staying at that bar was as dangerous as a snake coiling itself around one’s neck. 

He had no context as to the story Molly was telling, nor did he know why she was leaning on some random man’s shoulder while Gina held her steady. She was absolutely battered… and so was he. He really shouldn’t have done those shots… or chasers… or downed three pints in twenty-eight seconds!

“That’s wicked!” The bloke, seemingly a Welshman, acknowledged with a grin and turned to look at another man who was slightly shorter and looking incredibly confused.

“Yeah, what the hell does tha’ ‘ave to do wiv why the English department is full of cocks?” 

Blanking, it was Georgina who replied, “Beg your pardon?”

“No, it’s not that it ain’t a good story righ’. Jus… you said the English department was full of cocks and then you went off on one abou’ how your nan choked on a battered sausage in Wrexham and ended up teaching an Irish hen do a version of the Macarena involving Simon Says.”

Ah yes, now he was remembering where he stopped paying attention – because that was the same story that Molly had used on Nathan to impress him into being her best friend. Entirely made up of course, but watching Molly try to defend it was actually quite funny. 

Georgina carefully moved away from her friend and the lone boy who remained. The shyer Welshman moved over to join Nathan who was in the midst of a heated phone call with his parents about something or other. 

Gina turned to face her beloved and offered a wide, drunken, grin of pride. “My work here is done.” She proclaimed victoriously. 

Fraser shook his. “That story is well overdue to be retired.”

“Umm, how dare you, it’s a friggin’ legendary story!”

“It’s total hogwash!” He exclaimed.

“Doesn’t matter, it weeds out the shite lads for the smart lads who have something worth saying.” Gina responded.

Fraser raised an eyebrow. “You tellin’ me that absolutely travesty of fiction… Molly came up with that to get into lads’ trousers?!”

“No, she made it up to get into some awesome guy’s trousers.” She grinned up at him. 

“Well, fair dues to the lass,” He acknowledged, both turning to see Molly and the lad in the midst of a heavy snog. “It certainly seems to work.”

“Aye,” Gina grinned. “But… she’s still going home alone, and you know what that means.”

“That I get a night without you hogging the covers?” he cheekily responded, earning him a gentle slap on the chest which he responded to with laughter. “No I get it, Molly’s… “

“Three seconds away from taking the boy home and dressing his drunk arse up in a gimp suit, I know.” She grumbled. “I was really hoping we’d cuddle up in bed, order some pizza and watch Moana together.”

Fraser sighed sadly. “Me too. Tomorrow?”

“Definitely.” She nodded with vigour. “But, seeing as we have hours till closing, and you’re not going anywhere…”

“No! No, no way Jose!” He jumped back as she matched each step until he was backed against a corner looking down on her devilish grin with utter defeat at hopelessness. “Oh come, no more shots!”

“Hmmm,” she pouted before heavily rolling her eyes and donning a look of consideration. “Ok, but only if you let me tell you all about my work on gene therapy.”

“Oh no! That’s even worse, I’m too drunk! And I know you’ll quiz me in the morning!”

“Shots it is then!”

“Wait.” He grabbed her quickly before she turned. He looked to see they weren’t being watched before pulling her in close and whispering sensually, “No more shots, and I’ll finally do that thing you’ve been begging me to do!”

She let out a little whimper and looked at him with a quivering lip. “You mean… the weed wacker?!”

“I’ll buy that really expensive one on Amazon.”

She pulled back at him and gave him a once over like he was a piece of meat. “I’ve never been more attracted to anyone in my life.” And a second later they were the ones in a heated snog. Thankfully there was no one there to stop them from getting all hot and bothered, and fifteen minutes before the closing bell was rung they found out the gents’ toilets were surprisingly vacant and clean for a student pub. 

He did not know why but when that bell was rung Fraser felt a great feeling of trepidation – as though he was experiencing peace and happiness for the last time in what would be a long while. He put that down to the realisation that he’d soon be slaving over his doctorate, providing everything went well and as expected.

Thankfully, while they were closing, Fraser’s familiarity with the owners and the staff allowed him, Gina, Molly, Nathan, and the two lads they’d been chatting with half the night (their names it turned out were Rhodri and Keith) to shelter indoors whilst they waited for their taxis. The rain had not eased in the slightest since his arrival, only increasing in volume to the point where drops of water were shooting down with the force and impact of bullets from a million skyward rifles.

For some reason the rain had him thinking of an open desert plain, bright and warm under a clear blue sky. The vision was so real he could almost feel the arid desert air on his tongue. For the briefest of moments, it was more real than the leftover taste of Georgina’s lipstick. More real than her arms around his back digging into open wounds she’d clawed into his spine not so many minutes ago. 

When the rain did finally come back into his vision, he looked beyond the half oval beer garden out front and for a moment thought he saw Mark Dugan’s dog running through in the distant darkness. It must have been his imagination running wild like the liquor and beer currently rushing through his system forcing him to pee every five minutes. 

It had to be said, for all Georgina’s banging on about the remarkable evolution of the human body, its lack of effort towards increasing the size of the waste storage area was outrageous considering the millennia of humans getting wankered and constantly needing the toilet.   

Honestly, the only reason he was looking forward to getting back to the flat now was to use the bathroom. Apparently, he’d been none too discreet in sneaking Gina into the pub toilets, enough so that they were quite happy to watch him squirm out front as the arms of his partner around him left him no choice but to stand there uncomfortably with his only distraction attempting to follow the conversation between Gina and Rhodri.

“So, you’re using gene therapy to prove that’s how time works?” Rhodri asked.

Georgina huffed irritably. “No! I’m trying to prove that there is a direct correlation between our perception of time and our genetics and alter that perception…Look, basically, I’m trying to show we can make the brain translate information at a faster rate!!”

“Oh, I – I get it.”

“No you don’t,” she stated.

“No I don’t,” he responded honestly.

“It’s fine, I’m not really explaining myself well given… you know… I’m shitfaced.” She smiled. “Hey, your friend knows he’s going home alone yeah?”

Rhodri frowned. “Umm, well, we live together so…”

“I mean, he’s not going back to yours with Molly.”

“Oh! Yeah, he’s just trying to get her Snap I think.”

Fraser chuckled. “Oof, tough luck on that to your friend. She barely messages any of us and we’re her BFFs.”

“Oh, well I should…” He motioned to Keith and then made a pulling motion.

It was Nathan, strangely, who pinged in. “Nah mate, don’t break a man while he’s on a high. Also, can I borrow a tenner off you for a taxi?”

Both Georgina and Fraser shook their heads and smiled. She pulled him in to a wonderful drunken kiss as they noticed it was his taxi pulling in ahead of hers and Molly’s. Molly, it seemed, didn’t intend to leave Keith with the same parting gift of her lips and gave him, much to his clear disheartenment, a fist bump.  It couldn’t have been a more awkward sight to precede a heart wrenching goodbye. Then again, every time he said goodbye to his most beloved was heart wrenching. 

“I love you,” she told him.

“I love you too,” he instantly replied, giving her one last peck on the lips before getting in the taxi.

“Don’t forget to order the weed wacker when you get back!” she called out after him.

“I won’t!” he replied. He would forget. But he wouldn’t forget watching as Georgina faded into the night as his taxi took off. He did not know it yet, but that would be the last he would see her for some time. 

By the time he was back at the flat the alcohol was entirely having the run of his system. His vision was blurred to the point he’d need triple glazed glasses to make out anything other than vague shapes. And his feet had transformed from land to sea legs. And his vocabulary was atrocious. Instead of thanking the driver with legible words he let out what sounded like a barking noise and quickly exited the taxi to escape his embarrassment.

It took him three solid minutes of stumbling and fumbling to get to and unlock the front door. By this point he was very much in a state of mind where he was considering just saying ‘sod it’ and pissing himself. 

It was certaintly a more inviting option than taking the stairs up to the can. His entire body weight was currently pressed against the blue paper wall since he no longer had the equilibrium to stand steadily on his own two feet. No, he decided, no stairs tonight. He’d piss himself, chuck his dirty clothes in the bin, put on fresh pyjamas and pass out on the couch.

Oh, but all his clean clothes were upstairs! And he couldn’t very well even attempt to fall asleep in soiled clothing. Which left but one option. One option that was all he had left. Stumbling around in his kitchen, Fraser looked to the sink with great trepidation. Should he dare? 

“Gina’ll kill me,” he sighed. 

The bursting feeling in his bladder was overwhelming and he wasn’t sure he could hold on much longer.

“Sod it!” he exclaimed, or rather slurred as he woozily unzipped his trousers and prepared to drown the previous night’s cutlery in beery urine. Though this did not bother him yet, only the relief of relieving himself was all he cared about. All other feelings were washed away as he allowed himself to be drained and for that painful pressure in his side to be removed in his evacuation. 

He leaned back and let out a low steamy sigh as hot breath met cool air. He watched as this misty breath glided through the air and dispersed. He followed these last specks of steam drift and he turned to watch it happen with intoxicated fascination – and quite literally shat himself as he starred into the shadowed face of a stranger standing at the door in his kitchen.

“Fuck!” he shouted, turning to run but instead falling victim to his trousers around his legs and tripping to fall headfirst into the kitchen table and winding up on the floor. Now he was more than just dazed from booze but from a concussion too. 

He thought then, for the briefest of seconds, this was how he was going to die. A death of hilarity that would be mocked by denizens of this street for decades to come. There’d be a piece about him online before dawn came, they’d laugh at how he’d die with stool in his pants with his trousers around his legs, all because he’s taken a whizz in the sink! Oh god, worse than the embarrassment, he’d be leaving Georgina behind!

As he stared up, the man approached but did not move in any way that was threatening. And as he moved towards Fraser his hands moved to the kitchen light which he pressed. Suddenly Fraser was no longer afraid but confused as his beer-addled brain struggled to make heads or tails of the seemingly familiar face in front of him.

Then he spoke. “It’s been a long time Fraser.”

“Grandad?” he muttered, before he was overcome and felt the darkness overtook him…

Next time…

The book hit the table with a loud thud, far too loud for the hungover gentleman who was currently doing all he could not to rush back to the toilet. Fraser looked over the book, and internally remarked over the fine details inscribed into the leather-like coverings. It was decorative to be sure, perhaps worthy of a private collection, but it didn’t strike him as particularly remarkable.

“You said you had the secrets to the universe. This,” he gestured, “is just raggedy old paper.”

“It’s not raggedy, and it’s not paper.” Joseph informed him.

Curiosity peaked, hesitinatly Fraser stroked the spine of the book. It indeed felt nothing like any leather book he’d ever held during his years of acadamia. He stroked along the side of the pages and gave his grandfather an inquiring glance. 

“Aye, not paper. What is that?”

“Human flesh,” he bluntly replied. 

Fraser jumped back throwing his hands wide of the area the totem was situated, and exclaimed loudly, “What the actual f***!”

Well, there you have it, a month in the making but finally chapter 3. And that’s how it will be for the foreseeable future. So look out in four week’s time for chapter 4, and here’s a little spoiler to keep you going till then – things will be getting wild next time!

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