Hey kids. Here’s this week’s episode of Death Of 1000 Cuts – a podcast for writers, readers and people who are nosy about how stories get made. Check out the archives for more episodes.
Below is a text version of the piece we discuss in today’s show. If you’d like to submit an extract of your work for future shows, I’d love that – please make sure you’ve listened to a few episodes so you understand what you’re agreeing to and read our submission guidelines.
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Clear (by Dan)
They don’t even have magazines any more, just pamphlets smeared with filth. I can smell the mother with wide, sun-cracked shoulders, fat kid lolling in her arm pit. Girl next to me looks vegan, pale and pointy. No smell.
My jeans haven’t dried properly and I smell like a banana.
I try to pull into myself, tighter and tighter, but I bend back to shape like a coat hanger. Another fat mum, pushchair too big. Not regular either: tubes, pipes, a machine for God’s sake. Baby seems chirpy though, gurgling into its raw pink chin. Try to look normal.
I’ve been rehearsing my script. I can’t tell them what it is and admit I’ve been googling gloopy wreckages of flesh since 4am. Last week it was Impetigo, so she said. But it’s…
Tom Creckan, room 6
Polite knock. He actually gets up and meets me at the door. Normally just a sullen clack of the keyboard, whiff of mint. New and keen. And clean. Creamy hand-soap hand-shake. Hint of acne himself if you peer close enough, gnawing at the corners. No hair gel/wax/crème, just a breezy morning fluff. Shirt well ironed. This man is a fucking morning.
I start my tale. Just throw it right in.
‘I get these cold sores.’
He stares, unflinching, bobbing my reflection in his spectacles.
‘Last week…your colleague said it was Impetigo…I mean, not that I’d question…but…’
He’s about to stop me. Smother me, politely, with a creamy palm.