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The Jag

by Brian Capaloff

In the beginning there was the jag .... And in the middle, and in the end. The jag and nothing but the jag.

Lawrie searched everywhere, tapping away, tightening the cord, hitting his head against the wall. He knew it was somewhere, had to be. He had never failed before and wasn’t about to now. A bit of calm. Stop the shaking, the shaking with frustration, the shaking. Needed to think, to settle down, take a breath — where could it be? Bloody itch — won’t go away. Jeeze H Christ that’s annoying. Could do with some sandpaper. That would sort it.

Telephone ringing. Can’t be bothered. It can wait. They can wait. Won’t get it. Bloody cheek! Don’t they know I’ve got business to deal with, mind on other things. No time for pleasantries, friends (friends? What’re they? Just take your money, use you, used up, leave — no time, got things to do, much more important. Got myself to sort out). Get a drink. Water. Calm down. It’ll turn up, always does. God I’m thirsty. Thirsty work looking for it.

Get to the loo. Calm down. Stomach playing up. Just need to find it and no worries. Foot itching like buggery. Soon. Feels good. Could do with longer nails. Nothing like a good scratch. Feet — ugly bastards! Let’s have a look. And grin! Knew it! It had to be there! Let’s get cooking. Nice blue one — ugly feet, but useful.

And in the end there was the jag.

Copyright © 2006 by Brian Capaloff

[Author’s and editor’s note: “Jag” is Scottish slang for “needle.”]

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