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by GJ Hart

All of life was Bolton Road services: mini-mart, cafe, off-licence, with a perished whiff to its unswept aisles and the implacable, neon-eyed look of deeds that start quick and always end bad. Its menu: enticing as the ball-chested sergeant pushing leaflets by the air pump and basted in fumes off the forecourt — a Belly-o Burger, a Bolton Banger, served over bloody floors to bloody tables and all bloody awful for free.

Georgie ignored it, wasn’t hungry, was only there for the specials, the Joe’s and Jack’s and deep green drain, and stood there, tapping a bombshell bottle, with the pallor of a man two days in the ground and no temperament to match — twitching and chewing hard behind a waxy fellow shunting a diesel can with the cap of his boot.

“Fucking piss pan,” he whispered and snorted into his palm. He massaged the jelly hot and loose and rubbed it into the man’s shoulder. The man caught him in the automated door.

“Do you know what’s different?” he said, twisting Georgie’s piano tie in his fist.

“Nothing,” gulped Georgie, “nothing’s different.”


GJ Hart currently lives and works in London and has had stories published in The Molotov Cocktail, The Jersey Devil Press, The Harpoon Review and others. He can be found arguing with himself over @gj_hart.

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