Shinbone-Jimmi Campkin

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We’d swum upstream, arching through the reeds and the little currents swirling around the sharp rocks just below us, grazing our elbows and knees.  The river meandered under the watch of hills crumpled and confused like an unmade bed.  Nothing moved except the wind and the water; and two undernourished, hopelessly drunk, hopelessly pale little tadpoles in the dark green of a midnight dip.

She’d hotwired the car in a dark corner of the drive-thru.  Under the artificial glare of neon bulbs, we’d seen the young couple fingering each other damp before sucking away their respective juices and hitting the fries.  All she needed was a cigarette lighter and a hairclip and we had a car.  A good car.  A V6 apparently, whatever that means, with two belts of cheap vodka and an automatic transmission.  I didn’t mind.  It meant she could grip my cock and still keep one hand on the wheel.

The narrow lanes guided us.  I became convinced that she drove with telepathy, her delicate wrist flicking the wheel with minimal effort but maximum g-force.  No lights, because apparently that would draw attention to us, she spat the thing out of town and into the swaying countryside.  In town I felt anxious but with every passing mile and every fleeting farmhouse I realised that nature was calling us.  I knew that somehow, Everything Would Be Taken Care Of.  Any cop car that happened to chase us would end up in a swamp, or with a sudden puncture.  We weren’t evil and we weren’t out to kill.  Our goodness would see us through.

We left the road out of boredom and smashed through a fence in the gap between the posts.  After a lot of bouncing and protesting we ended up in a field of tall corn past the roof, everything hissing and slurping as though the car itself was peaking a weird acid high.  Leaving it behind, we lunged through this cathedral of corn stalks and plunged into the river.

*

We cuddle under the old railway bridge, naked and alone.  At night, her skin glistens like a thousand pairs of moonlit cats’ eyes.  She doesn’t shave anymore and I can grab full clumps of her leg and under her arms but I don’t care.  I want everything she has, and if there is more of her I want that too.

Under dead stars and rusting arches she rests in my arms and legs, reclined against my back pressed against a damp stone wall.  We talk about everything from hot dogs to Einstein.  She doesn’t believe in the theory of relativity, but she does believe in a formula for the perfect dog.  A bun the specific length of her hand, a quart of mustard, a quart of relish, and the merest fumes of mayo…Mid-conversation she presses two fingers into the forest of her bush and pisses out a stream of alcoholic nectar running between our legs.

I kiss the back of her head and tell her everything will be fine.  It’s my generic line.  I don’t know if she is unwell.  I don’t know if she needs everything to be fine.  She tweaks my nipples, pulls my hair and licks my chin.  Then a hair bobble frees her ponytail and she winds it three times around her wrist until her hand glows, veins protruding like the contours of an atlas, ready for a needle we don’t have.

I apologise and cuddle her tightly.  My cock grows and lifts, dragging itself against the small of her back.  Underneath the bridge, a midnight train rumbles and complains overhead sending dust onto our heads and a small colony of bats scrambling over the river.  I’m cold, filthy and pointless.  But she is in my arms…my arms…and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.


 

Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.

Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.

I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

With Luck

Sarah Doughty

Heartstring Eulogies

“I’ve forgotten what it’s like
to lean in and kiss you
like I need air in my lungs.”

I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel free. Living life without looking over my shoulder, or being aware of the shadows in the corners of my eyes. Without thinking something is stalking me. Coming towards me, and will catch me if I’m not ready for them. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be spontaneous. To lean in and kiss you like I need air in my lungs. To dance in the rain and look up at the moon while the scent of wood smoke fills my nose. I wish I knew how to live my life so open and free like that. And maybe one day I will. I have to hold on to that. But for now, I’ll do what I can with the moments I’m able to experience. With luck…

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Good Luck Charm

S.K. Nicholas

S. K. Nicholas

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The sky is a sea, or so she thinks. As for me, I’m inspecting the blood beneath my fingernails. It’s smeared across the keyboard of my laptop. Should clean it, but there’s an idea in me and I’m doing my best to squeeze it out like a turd that just won’t drop. Leaning back in my chair, I smoke a cigarette and look out the window. Rain. Always rain. Makes me feel natural. Like I’m almost human. Somewhere out there, she legging it through a park. She’s slipping on wet grass. There are swans in the river to her left, and as she flies by, they spread their wings in celebration of her fleeting appearance. She’s gritting her teeth and cursing every near miss as her feet go in several directions causing her to snatch at thin air before regaining her balance. She’s a fool on the hill, that’s for…

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A Road Less Travelled

Nicole Lyons

The Lithium Chronicles

I walk softly around the edge of it.
I am afraid to breathe.
My fingernails cut a path through
my palms and I exhale slowly,
watching the mantras I have pulled from
my blood, pooling in my hands.
I lift my fists to my lips
and I place the chant on my tongue,
loud enough to drown the song in my head
and flush the insanity from my ears.
Oh, to watch words fall like stars
and glow at my feet.

One step, two step
tippy tap, blue step
Blue step? two-step!
Click your heels, new step.
New step? Fool step!
Cut your teeth through step.

This is the place where I have come undone,
and I walk softly around the edge of it.
I whisper quietly in this place,
to this place, that seeps
into my brain and swallows my light.
From a distance this place looks like home

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Last Judgement

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Come on down from there,

if only for a quick minute.

The last time I saw you is

unsatisfactory in hindsight.

Retrospection is a bitch dressed in my skin—

I’ve become leprous.

I may not pray to God, but I do

talk to Jesus. My words

fall on dead ears.

Christ will not come to me.

And if only for a quick minute, you will not

come down from there.

*

Your mother keeps on ringing me.

I don’t answer.

Does my cruelty hurt you terribly?

Some things I just can’t do to honor you.

To answer is to satisfy Jehovah, and I do not

wish to please Him. He’d used her willing hands to

ruin you. I’ve decided that

forgiving trespasses does not heal me.

Leave the forgiving to God.

Some things are simply

unforgivable

by the human heart.

*

You were both meaner and kinder than me.

I…

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Love Junkie

Nicholas Gagnier

FVR Publishing

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All it takes
is a bad trip.

Spoonful of this,
syringe of that.

I’m grown
bored of this disease in
my veins, aches in
the liver,
broken-off bits of faith
at serotonin’s mercy,
breakfasts of
cocaine.

Waking up on riverbanks where
baptisms are offered only for
those who
can be saved, who aren’t covered
in the clothes of their loneliness and
terrified of vulnerability, despite
the fact it covers them
like bile.

God bless you,
hallucinating child
for none in this world have loved you like
you adore yourself, selfish enough to never
accept the helping hand, or
light a candle for the world’s
health.

Lord protect you,
creature of the wild, all the universe’s
injustice in lost
mobility you
have felt,
but foreign substance
won’t fill that void.

Learning to love this
way will kill you, boy.

None of this is planned, but all of it’s
a choice,
and…

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oh hells no

Max Meunier

Max or Not

who in the fuck are these rambunctious people?

why must they bellow such burdensome breath?

like dragons
disrupting this deepest of sopor

within my darkened den of ursine affect

if only i had a long rope
or a short sword

how rightly i’d smite them
and preclude my plight

alas, it is i
still supine in my stupor

who falls to the onset
of time’s tempered light

they brand me a “grump”

whilst they hump on my leg…

such dregs bears repeat
of this dog-gonnest shame

ye fucks, if i’m sleeping
ye art bound to get slapped

should ye wake me
and work me

for corporate gain

go pander thy poison
of pilfer and pomp

away from my station
and dare ne’er return

my patience runs fibrous
no cheek shall be turned

it’s best to fast learn this
lest ye wound up stomped

[image credit: Louis Wain]

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