s

...

" Almost giddy with delight I grab a glass neck. The liquid inside dares me to taste. Just one drop, it won't make a difference. I can handle it... "

personal rehab
by gary hewitt


I hate myself.

Eyes stray to a queue of discarded bottles. Empty of the vodka redolent in my veins. It felt so good. No longer a meek creature, it made me able to do anything I wanted. I did. I so bloody did. I became a monster. I swore, spat and lashed out when it possessed me. I'm a slave to the white spirit and hurt everyone who loved me.

Now the power is gone. My one time friends are disgusted. Yet their nausea is nought compared to self loathing. Dehydrated eyes focus on a label of red; the colour of my lipstick and the devil.

I stumble from the bed, reach to the curtain and draw apart blackened curtains. I reel. Outside, a cleansing sun; its joy caresses me. My broken spirit imbibes liquid heat, exiling vestiges of poison from my body. Sol invades my senses, succours me and banishes the dark place where I have dwelt this last week.

For the first time in I don't know how long lips curve to a smile. Almost giddy with delight I grab a glass neck. The liquid inside dares me to taste. Just one drop, it won't make a difference. I can handle it.

It hurtles towards my lips. Yet the sun, so strong, is so much more powerful than this ludicrous bottle.

Clear liquid pours onto my bare foot.

My life belongs to me.

(illustration: john richen)


Gary has been writing for around 6 years now and during this journey has discovered his stories are a bit different from what else you might see. A fitting word to describe his imagination would be febrile. Writing started off as fun but he has managed to complete a first draft of his novel as well as churning out a fair few short stories. He has participated in Slingink's Eurofiction, The Whittaker Prize and also in the Grail's annual Writeathon. His ultimate ambition is to be a full time writer whilst still enjoying his work.

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©2009 Gary Hewitt • Smokebox
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