‘All that tawdry sort of carnage’
Extract from Fishnet
By Kirstin Innes
Published by Freight Books
The next morning, she’s laid out there on the pillow beside you. Corn-yellow hair matted across her cheeks, crusty grains of makeup under her eyes and a sharp, feral smell rising from the duvet. You suspect maybe she’s wet herself, but she looks happy as a baby. Half a smile stuck gummily round her mouth.
It rushes through your system as you sit up, toxic pressure on sinus, stomach. Still, you’re awake, and still held together by skin. Underneath, though, that black emptiness of a comedown beginning. Pending holocaust of organ tissue.
The toilet flushes. Still here. At least he hasn’t done a runner on you. Why would he? The club’ll be paying for the room. Tooth marks on your shoulder. A towel or something on the floor near the bed. You pull it round yourself to cover up before he comes out, just observing formalities.
Jammed stinking ashtrays and champagne bottles crowning the furniture, the cold slime of a spent condom underfoot; all that tawdry sort of carnage from other people’s money that you don’t think you’ll mind the next day. Her knickers are hanging off the doorknob, yellow-stained gusset peeking outwards, dainty.
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Kirstin Innes is an award-winning writer, journalist and arts worker living in the west of Scotland. She founded the Glasgow literary salon Words Per Minute, and has had short stories published in a number of anthologies and commissioned by BBC Radio 4. Fishnet is her first novel.