Tony rolled over and realised that the bed clothes didn’t reach all the way over him, over to the other side, the side he’d just rolled over onto. In fact he was now half exposed. His right arm was uncovered and part of his chest, and his neck, his leg – these parts of his body were rapidly cooling. So he tried to roll back, despite the pain in his back, to the position he had been in before. When he was in pain but relatively warm. He rolled back easily enough but there seemed now to be even less of the bed clothes left. She had them. She always did this. It was like a trick of some kind. As if she was actually awake and not asleep, as she now gave every indication of being, with the cute, elongated breathy breaths and the slightly high-pitched but no less peaceful wheezing top note when she breathed in. It was endearing, he had to admit that. Most things she did were endearing. Even stealing his blankets at 2:30 in the morning when it was bitterly cold in the room, beyond the warmth of the covers. Yes, even that. And he couldn’t do anything about it. What could you do? Push her away? Roll her over? Run the risk of waking her up? The idea offended him. He would rather be cold and not get back to sleep than do such a thing – and now he was about to find out exactly what that was like.

He rolled, gently but firmly, over a bit more, towards her body, and he felt the hair on her body. But still she snored, and his breathing became easier too. This would work. Cuddling up. It was a bit weird to cuddle up to a German short haired pointer, but then it was a bit weird allowing one to sleep on his bed and Lottie had never slept anywhere else.


The hunger gripped him. It was such a feeling, so palpable, so raw, so physical that, although it was the absence of something he felt – no food, in such a long time – that it was experienced as the presence of something. As if the hunger had arrived and taken up residence. Not just a presence in that it was present, but a presence in the same way that a being may be present in time and space, present in the room or the house or crouching in the corner, bearing it’s fangs. This was a small presence but nasty. As if an elderly and diseased creature had crawled into his chest and was now living there, parasitically, evilly inducing hunger with some kind of paralysing discharge, issuing from it and making the organs and the innards and the insides go hard and dry and still and forget what it was like to be hydrated and soft and yielding. The taste and the smell and the memory of food were obliterated and he tried to remember, in his head, but couldn’t, because he couldn’t remember with his guts.

Published in: on July 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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