The Morning After. Flash Fiction.

Declan opened his eyes then winced, groaning, he rolled over and sat up. His head was throbbing steadily and he felt like he was going to throw up any second. He took a slow breath, then looked around, he was definitely at home, so that was something. Judging by the mess he had gotten in at some point, tried to make food, and passed out on the couch. He spotted a glass of water and grabbed it, he downed a mouthful before realising it was vodka, immediately his stomach clenched. Declan launched himself from the couch and made it halfway to the kitchen before he threw up.

When it stopped he looked at the puddle of vomit on the ground, least it wasn’t carpet, it probably wasn’t great for the wood, but hey, it’s not like there was anyone else around to complain. The smell of vomit was thick and heavy in the air. He made his way to the kitchen, there he opened the windows and sipped at a glass of water. He grabbed out the bucket and mop, the smell of sick was too overbearing, he needed it gone.

Once he had finished cleaning he had another glass of water, he wasn’t sure what he was trying to prepare the night before, the counter was littered with food, but the oven and stove were off, so that was a bonus. It wouldn’t have be the first time he had woken to a house full of smoke and a pizza still in the oven. The thought of food made the nausea worse, but he knew he needed to eat something. He threw some bread into the toaster and waited. He tried to recall exactly what happened the night before. The gang had gone out for Terry’s birthday, they started in the local, but then Terry wanted to go clubbing. Declan’s memory was mostly intact until they got to the club, but then there was little to nothing. The toast popped from the toaster and he carefully buttered it and added some jam. He ate it slowly, nibbling at the corner. It took him a while but when he had finished he felt a little better. He had no cuts or bruises and didn’t seem to have lost anything. He’d no embarrassing texts or missed calls on his phone, no contact from anyone. He hoped that was a good sign. Normally if he made an ass of himself there would be at least a few texts about it.

He debated having a shower and eventually decided against it, he wasn’t going any where for the day and no one was coming over. Bits and pieces of the night before were coming back to him, dancing with some blonde girl who may or may not have been hot, doing shots for some reason and people yelling. He didn’t know what they were yelling about but he was reasonably confident that it hadn’t involved him. His stomach was still queasy but he hadn’t thrown up since the first incident, so he was taking that as a win. There had been many a morning with him hugging the porcelain throne, unable to even think about food without vomiting. Overall he decided to chalk the morning up as a success. Once his stomach settled a little he threw a pizza into the oven, while he was waiting for it to cook his poured some vodka and orange juice into a glass, just to give him a little boost. It had become a habit over the last few months, but he always waited until he was feeling a bit better, after all he didn’t really need it, he wasn’t an alcoholic, but it was just something nice to do to take the edge off the hangover. He watched some TV and ate his pizza, occasionally he would top up his drink, just a little though.

When the afternoon was coming to a close he was feeling pretty good, he had drank a few more glasses than he intended, but then he wasn’t feeling tipsy so he knew he was fine. Besides which, he wasn’t planning on driving or going out anywhere. He finished off his glass and looked at it for a moment, he muttered “fuck it” and made himself another. It was only Saturday after all, and he didn’t need to be anywhere tomorrow either. He had a stressful week and the weekend was meant for fun. He took a sip of his drink, sighed and settled back in to continue watching TV.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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