The Brian Blessed belch I once found hilarious is reverberating around my parents’ tiny dining room and I catch your expression which says ‘yes-I’m-burping-without-restraint-because-I-reject-society’s-arbitary-conventions-and-don’t-care-if-I-am-embarrassing-you-because-I-am-being-real’ and your forearm is crumpling my mum’s best napkin and it still bears the lyrics of adolescent rebellion and as the flabby bass note sustains the room shrinks and shrivels and it’s not my family’s revulsion I feel but my own despair curdling in the warm juice of your gob-hole and if you will never meet me halfway I may as well stay where I am and where are your principles now you’ll accept work from ‘any-posh-cunt-stupid-enough-to-fork-out’ and I hate you using women’s body parts as shorthand for vile people and you are powering the belch through to its foghorny climax and your moth-eaten Anarchy t-shirt is clinging to your second trimester beer-baby when I’m the one who should have a bump to nurture rather than a man-child who suckles himself nightly on homebrew and conspiracy theories and homebrewed conspiracy theories from the safety of a skip-dived swivel chair encrusted in crow shit which is the only thing you have contributed to our so-called home and your booming Brian bugle is diminuendoing and the ribbity undernote is moving to the fore and as your lungs finally empty I realise the burp is not the only thing to have tapered off and a foggy silence reclaims the air and I think about my cosy teenage bedroom and Mum’s spag bol and later I will tell you if you really want to live in an echo chamber how about an empty flat with dodgy wi-fi and a crap-stained plastic throne and then my once enchanting man you can sit on it and swivel down down down into the murky depths of your very own lonely rabbit hole.
Lucy Goldring is a Northerner hiding in Bristol. Lucy has a story in Best Microfiction 2022 and features in Dr Tania Hershman’s 2023 charity flash anthology. She’s been shortlisted by the National Flash Fiction Day three times and twice selected for their anthology. Find her on Twitter (@livingallover) and her website.