The Dump | by Marie McKay

I hadn’t expected to see a woman in this dump, but she seemed to have the knack of making everyone else look out of place. Her elbows took the weight of her height as she propped up the bar. Her deliberate black roots scorched through the peroxide in her hair.

I wanted to talk to her but I knew women alone in bars definitely didn’t want hassled. Besides, she terrified me.

Instead, I watched her discreetly from the other side of the bar. She slugged from a bottle of beer from time to time and didn’t seem to look in my direction.

When I returned the following night, she made the first move. She said she felt shittin sorry for me. Her language was foul and sexy and glorious. When she found us a seat in the corner, she asked me if I read books, and said she liked the theatre.

When I looked surprised she said, “What’s that look for? You think I just drink and arm wrestle?”

“You arm wrestle?”

“Jesus, you are a shittin novice,” she said.

I mustered the courage to ask her out, “Should we see each other again? Away from here? A proper date or something?”

“No. I like it here,” she said.

I think we met up again: she was there anyway. When I asked if she wanted to sit, she said she’d rather stand. She wasn’t in a talkative mood: she closed down all my open-ended questions. I fell silent. I didn’t want to witter on. I guessed she wouldn’t approve of that. We drank instead.

She must have appreciated the silence as, right there at the bar, she brought her mouth to mine. She pulled me close and kissed me like we were alone. 

We swayed our way to hers. It was close.

In the morning, there were no excuses. She just formed the full stop on my forehead with her lips.




Marie McKay lives in Scotland. She has flash fiction published in various places online, including 100wordstory, Literary Orphans and Lies, Dreaming. She also has stories in various anthologies, including ‘Treasures’ (The Scottish Book Trust), ‘School Days’ (Paper Swans Press) and ‘A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed’ (National Flash Flood Anthology.)