The Morning After

Prompt image for the Fandango's Flash Fiction prompt

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #142, where we write about the image below from Shift Drive @

A picture containing grass, outdoor, nature, smoke

Description automatically generated

At the same time as he realized his thirst, Garry wished he could stop the pickaxe from hammering away on his skull. He had just woken up from the night of all nights. Slowly, he opened an eye, gingerly using his right hand to flick his long, dark hair away.

Oooh, slowly, now.

Every movement seemed to be painful. And so far, the opulence surrounding him went unnoticed in the darkness. Chinks of daylight, however, filtered in from the drawn curtains.

He tried lifting his head, but… fuck! It’s so heavy, and with a will of its own it flopped down once more onto the white satin pillow. His jigsaw of thoughts finally fusing, Garry realized that just getting up was going to take some effort, but as he was contemplating, planning his move, he was disturbed by the sigh which came from next to him.

Slowly, gently, Garry maneuvered onto his other side, and opening the other tired eye, made out the figure of the young black man sleeping, also naked, beside him. Oh, fuck! What had he got up to last night? Allowing his head to drop back once more, Garry concentrated, his brain attempting to penetrate the fog.

First, he realized where he was. Once more opening his eyes, he saw the curves of a Louis XIV table appear in the shadows, serving to confirm that he was in an unbelievably upmarket hotel room. Gradually, he pieced the evening together. The Jubilee Design Awards, the Arundel Hotel. The ceremony had gone well, but the after-party was where the booze – and coke – had flowed. It was lucky, then, that he’d been allotted accommodation for the night, and at the end, only had to stagger into an elevator.

He looked again at the hunk of a figure sleeping next to him. Who the fuck is that? And then it started to dawn. Their competitors, the young apprentice, that sly wink and the cheeky smile. But what the fuck was this guy’s name? And the champagne. Bottle after bottle of the finest Pol Roger, appearing magically from nowhere whenever he needed refilling. He’d been the toast of the evening, all right. Nobody could seem to get enough of him, least of all this guy.

Fuck me, my head hurts!

Turning back towards the edge of the bed, Garry realized he would need to concentrate, if he were going to quench his thirst, and with military precision he finally edged himself into a sitting position. Planting his feet squarely into the thick pile of the carpet, he attempted to stand. However, Garry’s balance had not yet caught up, and he immediately fell back into his goose-feather envelope. The fall stirred his partner, who sighed an exhausted grunt before seeming to settle back into his repose.

Psyching himself once more, Gary made a lunge toward the table, knocking something metallic over on his way. He looked down to see a twelve-inch-high silver trophy now lay on the floor, a small pool of vomit now trickling onto the carpet.

Some more of last night returned. Fuck me, I won! Garry Palmerston, Best Newcomer! If they could but see me now, he thought as with reverance, he replaced the statuette onto the table. This was something else he’d never live down!

For now, though, Garry’s more immediate problem was physical, as he threw himself once again toward the window, being careful to avoid the pool. Pulling open the curtains, sunlight flooded the room as Garry blinked, grasping the immaculate white window-ledge for support.

His partner, too, was surprised by the sudden daylight, “What the…?”, he cried in shock, before closing his eyes and falling back into the bed. For the first time, Garry saw the bleached blonde ends of his dreadlocks, and more memories of last night crept back.

Now accustomed to the light, Garry admired the view over the park from the third-storey window, only now appreciating the time as he observed commuters wending their ways to work below. Feeling not only thirsty but ravenous, he turned back to the table, picked up his phone and checked the time.

“Come on”, he threw a cushion at his new friend. For god’s sake, what was his name? “We have precisely fifteen minutes to get dressed, if you want to grab some breakfast before we get chucked out of here.”

Blinking, with his left hand placed over his eyes to block the sun, with his right hand the man slowly reached down to touch his genitals. With a soft Scottish lilt, he replied “Do you fancy ordering some room service?”


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