The Best Night of His Life

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He knew he was looking in the mirror. He was sure of it.

He tentatively reached out with a finger and touched it. Yes, it was there. Why wasn't he? He gave up and dropped his heavy razor in the sink. The clatter was amazingly loud to his ears and he winced, then sighed pushing his hands against his cheeks, rough and flaky from the night.

His eyes felt sore and his nerves were shot to pieces. Tremors racked his fingers making them unusable. Something to eat perhaps? Yes. Would do wonders. He shuffled out of the bathroom, stepped over some crumpled clothes and made his way to his small kitchen.

The stench of herbs on entering the dirty and cramped little room was almost unbearable, so much so he instinctively gagged. The idea of a meal quickly subsided. He pushed himself into the lounge room and moved cautiously towards the television. The clock on the mantle said ten. What viewing delights were to tease his inactive mind into some
semblance of life? No telling. So he didn't bother and merely sat down in his second bed, the easy chair in the corner, and stared at the black box.

Some music would be nice, but he knew something had blown in the system. It had appeared dead earlier and smelt like a just-struck match. He sighed again and rose once more, keen on a drink. The bar he kept stocked stood just a stride away and it didn't take him long to pour a short finger of scotch. Raising the glass he sniffed and wrinkled his nose. It wasn't strange to feel repulsed by the smell, but
at this moment the alcohol seemed even more putrid than ever before.

Meandering out of the lounge he felt a little lost. Where was the cat? It hadn't been in for dinner as of yet. And the smell of fishy goodness from its dirty and drying food was beginning to irritate his
senses. To go back in the kitchen would prove most unpleasant, so he decided against attempting to alleviate that small problem. Hunger pangs and coarse rumblings played merry havoc in his stomach. A shower! He'd been meaning to, but the lack of presence in his mirror had slightly distracted him. Well, to be honest, more than slightly.

He trudged back down the hall, over the crumpled mess by his bedroom door and into the bathroom for the second time. He risked a glance in the mirror, but was rewarded with a plain tiled reflection, so he reached into the shower, twisted the taps to his favourite positions and sat down carefully on the edge of the bath.

Balance had to be taken seriously, but he absentmindedly dangled his fingers under the water that rained down, waiting for the heat. He sat for what seemed an age, nothing in his head and the coldness of the water nudged him out into the real world. He glanced at the taps. Hot. On. Damn. The pilot light must have gone out again.

He'd been meaning to find a better apartment for a while. Things were always breaking down. Lights. Gas. Mirrors. Somehow he could never work up the organisational skills to look. The same with job-hunting. Things were supposed to fall into his lap weren't they? He turned off the taps. Well. There was that nice girl last night. He smiled at the memory. And she hadn't judged him by the seediness of his flat, or the seediness of his love-making. In fact he couldn't recall her ever leaving last night, or was it this morning? A moment of panic gripped him, churning the contents of his stomach. He hadn't got her number. He scribbled at his cheek with the end of his finger, drawing figure eights. Perhaps she was still here? He decided to check the bedroom.

Closing the bathroom door quietly, just in case she was still sleeping, he turned and simply tripped over the mass of clothes he'd left by the bedroom door. Stifling a swear word, he kicked at the debris and it felt solid. A bit full of something remarkably like a body. He pushed his fist into his mouth, jamming a quiet scream into his throat and stared into his own dead eyes; the dried blood where his throat had been smiling jaggedly up at him.

Best night of his life it was.

Hoopy Frood

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