fiction, poetry & more


by Ben Brooks




Sarah and David are sitting in a café. Sarah is drinking coffee and David is not drinking anything. The smoking ban has not yet been introduced and the general mood is melancholy.

DAVID: I feel sad about your dad dying.


DAVID: I don’t know.

SARAH: Do you really feel sad?

DAVID: No, but when someone dies you are supposed to feel sad.

SARAH: I feel good.

DAVID: I feel good too.

SARAH: Why do you feel good?

DAVID: I feel good because your dad was fat.

[Sarah lights a cigarette and puts her finger in her mouth.]

DAVID: Fat people spend every summer thinking, Shit, I am a fat fuck and this summer I am going to sweat to death. I feel good that your dad will not feel like that anymore. Your dad will never think he is going to die again.

SARAH: He doesn’t care, David.

DAVID: If my dad dies I will feel confused.

SARAH: I will explain things slowly so you are not confused. I will say, “Your dad has died,” in a slow voice, like you are retarded or very very young.

DAVID: Thank you.

SARAH: I don’t think your dad will ever die. It is a hollow promise.

DAVID: A hollow promise is different to a lie.

SARAH: A lie is different to blah blah blah. [Puts packets of unopened sugar into her half-finished coffee.] Blah blah blah, David.

DAVID: Stop that.


DAVID: Jesus died on the cross for us to live and you are wasting your time doing that.

SARAH: Jesus didn’t die for us David.

DAVID: Yes he did. He died for everyone ever. It says so in the Bible.

SARAH: I agree.

DAVID: Jesus was the son of God but also God at the same time.

SARAH: That’s really amazing.

DAVID: It is amazing and stupid.

SARAH: Jesus walked on water.

DAVID: Because he was the son of God and also God at the same time.

SARAH: I saw a man walk on water on TV.

DAVID: That was just an illusion.

SARAH: [Shrugs and crosses her legs.] In Buddhism there are no paradoxical sons of bitches.

DAVID: Jesus wasn’t a son of a bitch.

SARAH: Buddha was.

DAVID: Samuel L. Jackson was.

SARAH: Cool.

DAVID: When you die Samuel L. Jackson says, “Welcome to paradise,” and he takes you to meet Jesus.

SARAH: Samuel L. Jackson isn’t dead.

DAVID: He is alive and dead at the same time.

SARAH: That’s really amazing.

DAVID: It is amazing and stupid.

SARAH: Once I saw Samuel L. Jackson standing at the end of my bed and he said, “Everything will be OK,” and then melted into me and made me feel happy and at peace.

DAVID: That was Jesus.

SARAH: It was Samuel L Jackson.


[Sarah pours her coffee slowly onto the floor. David covers his ears and yells “AAAAAAHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!]



Ben Brooks is a young author from the southwest of England. He has work in Succour, Willows Wept Review and Dogzplot. His novella, “Fences,” will be released by Fugue State Press shortly.

July 2009