Timmy T. puked into the toilet bowl and saw carrots. “Huh,” he said, pushing his fingers through his hair. He never ate carrots. Never once.

In the bar, Maude was ready to kill him or kiss him. “You’re a twat,” she said. “A complete and utter…” 

She pulled him up close by the scruff of his Lacoste. “Go.”

Timmy T. went, lifting a finger. Funny, because Timmy T. adored Maude.

That night was a big kebab. Oily. With uncalled for hard bits. The hard bits you pull from your teeth.

Timmy T. loved the smell of exhaust fumes. He loved the way it made him feel: lightheaded and queasy. He loved Maude more than anything, but he loved fucking cars, too, which was the roadblock.

 “You fuck another car, Timmy T….”

 He did. He fucked another one. A Volkswagen Beetle, the new kind. Pulled down his pants and put his dick in the exhaust pipe. Kneeled because the pipe was so low.

The night was a big, wet, sloppy portion of curry with chips. It was the carrots in the puke, slimy and orange. Painted onto the sky, under his eyelids. He loved Maude. He loved the slight heat of the pipe. He loved the rocking of the car frame, the give of the wheels, the way Maude used to flick her nails on the soft skin between his balls and bum hole.

He would grasp the car lights and rest his face on the rear window.

Sexual intercourse.

 Timmy T. stomped back to the bar.

Maude was sucking a toothpick. She had a Mai Tai and a bag of crisps, spilled on the bar. She had half-crossed eyes, and knees so skinny and shiny, it broke his heart all over.

“Avoid random spaces,” she said, looking at his left ear or beyond his left ear, concentrating.

Everything about her was concentrating.

“What do you mean?” said Timmy T., sliding in next to her.

He was thankful, therefore his question was soft.

“You heard me,” said Maude.



Headshot_Jonathan CardewJonathan Cardew’s writing appears or is forthcoming in Passages North, Superstition
Review, JMWW, Smokelong Quarterly, People Holding, 
and Atticus Review, among others. He’s the fiction editor for Connotation Press, contributing books reviewer for Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and interviews editor for (b)OINK. He’s been a finalist in the Best Small Fictions, the Wigleaf Top 50, the Bath Flash Fiction Award, and he won a travel toothbrush once at a boules competition in northern Brittany. Originally from the UK, he lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.