[Flash Fiction] Joyriders

JoyridersThat night me and Jen took a green Starlet out the Naas Road. We’ve a great spot near Saggart for burning doughnuts. I was driving, Jen telling me to slow the fuck down. The spliff kept hopping off her lap and she didn’t want it all over the floor. I pulled back, and thank Jaysus I did, cos next thing there was a fella in the middle of the road, on the white line, pushing a pram. One of them big, black, bouncy yokes, ancient as God. And your man was strolling along as if he was off to Spar, like it was the middle of the day or something.

‘Pull over,’ Jen said.

‘What?’

‘Just stop, will ya?’

So I pulled in and we got out of the Starlet and I was bricking it in case your man knew the car, or us.

Jen said, ‘What’s in the pram, Tommy?’

‘Nothing, Jennifer. I’m only out looking for the baby. We must have left her somewhere.’

‘Maybe go home, Tommy. Rita will be worried about you.’

‘Yeah,’ he said. And he turned the pram around and wandered back the way he came, into the night.

In the car we shared the spliff and Jen’s tokes were a bit long, you know, but I said nothing cos she was gone real quiet and all.

‘Who’s your man?’

‘Me Uncle Tommy.’

‘Is he all right?’ I was wondering if he copped the Starlet.

‘What do you think? Drive.’

So we cruised as far as Kill, passing The Dew Drop and the industrial estate and all the houses with their lights off. Jen said to keep going and she got me to stop outside a graveyard on a real lonely road.

‘That’s where Tommy and Rita’s daughter is,’ she said, flicking her head.

I looked past her at the graves standing like black teeth around the church and thought it was an awful place for a little baby.

We lit up again and opened the car windows to let the smoke out; it was mad dark. The windmills on the hill behind the graveyard cut through the air, I could hear the shush-and-hum of them.

Jen told me to get into the back seat and I did and she got in too and straddled me; her mouth tasted like barley sugar not dope. When we finished, Jen cleaned the seat with a baby-wipe and fucked all our butts out onto the ground, so the car would be all right when we left it back. That’s the way Jen is, decent as anything.

***

(Nuala Ní Chonchúir)

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