The Earth is Filled with Violence?

This is a story I wrote back in 2009 and it was published in an anthology I can’t even remember the name of: all I can remember is that the book was green.

Looking back at this story, I really like the way it was written.

Back then it marked a new style in my writing, a style I don’t think I work in anymore but would like to return to. I wrote this after reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History when I was living in beautiful Galway, Ireland.

Yep, there’s cocaine in it. I’ve never done cocaine myself but know a lot of people who do do it. I notice that it features often in my work, and can only blame that on my devouring of Bret Easton Ellis (whole) in my formative years.

The Earth is Filled with Violence?

When the three of you decided it was time for the party, you’d been talking about it for five years. The premise was simple. Everyone would die with abandon. You figured people would be just about desperate enough to come. Next weekend seemed the best bet, on account of the war that your country had declared on another country far away that nobody could point to on a map. That had been months ago. There had been poison and famine.

“Water’s turned off,” you said, but it didn’t elicit the response you wanted because Carter went on poking his lunch and Sylvia was clearly ignoring you just for the hell of it. It didn’t matter, you thought. They’d get theirs in hell when all the major cities and defence forces had been tanked to pieces by a-bombs, you thought.

In theory, having the party was simple. While Carter sketched the nephron on the dining room table with a steak knife, you ran through the shopping list with Sylvia. You had sold your car the day before for half what it was worth. Sylvia had a sheen to her mouth that unnerved you. Writing the list was the easiest part because all you had to get was anything you wanted.

You didn’t know many people to invite because your phones had stopped working. Carter turned them into a wall display. It looked shit.

Friday night the three of you sat there in the house with all the lights on, the heat and the music cranked up, surrounded by supplies. The mannequin in the corner stared, mildly outraged by the display. Sylvia’d stolen her from Saks on fifth; they both wore negligees and rollerblades.

“What if nobody comes,” Carter said, playing with his M1903 Springfield. It didn’t warrant an answer. Sylvia gave a half shrug and did a line of cocaine off Carter’s naked thigh that he flexed for her benefit, but she said nothing about it and you waited for the doorbell to ring because you couldn’t do anything else.

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