Bottles – Short Story

Today’s the day I change. I can’t do this anymore.

The man looked down at the empty bottles, the overflowing ash trays filled with old smoked to the bone cigarettes.

His eyes drifted to the crack in the ceiling, he sighed.

Wondering where she was, where was Joanne? She hadn’t been back for days. Now he was sat here in a stupor living among the old bottles and the stubbed out cigarettes.

He hadn’t moved in what felt like days. He was hungry, he’d pissed himself – twice. He resembled something like a big fat baby.

The booze had wore off and in the cold grey light of morning he felt hollowed out. Where is she? Has she left me for good? I wouldn’t blame her. She told me to watch my step. Or could she be dead?

There’s nothing left here for me.

Get up. Get up. Get up.

He heaved himself, but couldn’t move.

Everything ached.

He cried out, “oh god, someone please help me.”

It was the first time he’d heard his voice in a long time. He was stuck.

Is this my fate? To be left to die in a mountain of empty bottles, stained in my own piss?

It would have been an excellent metaphor for his life and he knew it.

Empty bottles and piss.

There was nothing to do except wait for time to pass and hope that Joanne would come back. He slipped into uneasy dreams or maybe hallucinations, he didn’t know.

The room faded back into focus and a face was staring down at him.

It was Joanne.

He reached out to touch her face and found she was gone. He heard a strange noise and came to realize it was his own tortured moan.

Cold light turned bright and faded to orange and then pink. He still hadn’t moved.

Get up you fat piece of shit, get up. The voice kept telling him to get up.

He started to rock himself left and right, he rocked himself the way his mother rocked him back and forth when he was a babe. He rocked himself off of the couch and onto the ground where he landed among the bottles, the piss, and the cigarettes.

However, he was free.

Face down and looking at the filth beneath him the smell hit him and made him wretch.

Never again, never again.

Why did you leave me Joanne? Where did you go? How could you do this to me and leave me here?

If he had anything in his stomach, if he wasn’t so dehydrated, he knew he would have puked all over the wet sticky ground.

He pushed up off his hands he managed to get to his knees. He placed those fat wet hands against his XXL jeans and pushed as hard as he could.

As he heaved himself to his feet, his fat face let out a self-satisfied grin.

He placed one foot forward, his heel connected with the thickest part of an empty wine bottle throwing him off balance. He flew backward through the dozens of empty bottles that cut his soft fat flesh like a knife through jello. Then he hit his head hard, his skull shattered like glass, and he was dead.

As he fell, in those last couple of seconds that felt like an eternity, all he thought of was Joanne.

Watch your step, she said.