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Last Girls, Chapter Eight

11/12/16

  01:18:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 589 words  
Categories: Last Girls

Last Girls, Chapter Eight

?Nothing with veins,? Alan said. ?Angel can't stand veins.?
?Hah,? Angel said, ?because it looks like a dick.?
?Unfortunately,? Lark said, handing him one in a bun, ?these are cheap weeniers; they're like 90 percent veins, and 8 percent pig sphincters.?
?I'll probably regret asking,? Betsy said, ?but I think it'll haunt me if I don't know. What's the other 2 percent??
?Legal allowance for rats that fall into the dog vats.?
?That's actually less disgusting than I was imagining.?
?Oooh,? Angel said, ?that's a good idea. Scary and or disgusting campfire stories. Nothing better to go with beer and hot dogs.?
?S'mores,? Kelly said.
?We brought s'mores stuff, right babe??
?Yep. Name brand all the way, down to the fancy marshmallows.?
?Lark should start,? Angel said. ?She doesn't fuck around with campfire stories. Or weeniers,? he added, as she took down a bite consisting of the last third of her hot dog.
?Screw you; I knew you were about to ask me to go first. And I think under normal circumstances I'd leap at the opportunity to make you all tinkle in your sleeping bags, but... we kind of just lived through a nightmare. Certainly one of mine.?
?It was just an accident.?
?That wasn't a car accident. It was a full, uncontrolled off-road slalom. We broke a fucking Bronco- and not in the cool way. And especially ever since I broke my ankle last year... I don't know, it feels dumb.?
?Nope,? Alan said, ?you started the story. Can't chicken out, now.?
?What he means,? Denny started, ?is if you want to continue, we'll listen, and we'll be empathetic and supportive.?
Betsy raised an eyebrow at Lark, who rolled her eyes. She'd never paid Denny, or his attentions, any mind. But the two of them were right; she couldn't stop now, or it just sounded worse.
?Some of you have known me since kindergarten.? Alan raised his beer. ?Others not so long. But I've always been a bit of a tomboy. And athletic. And probably around the time I made the football team in high school it became something that felt like it was core to who I am. Like I still want to be active even when I'm an old lady. Making regionals, even though we lost, was huge to me.
?And it actually kind of fucked me up when I got cut from my college team before the season even started. But I bounced back. Not everybody athletic makes it into college ball, and especially quarterback slots are competitive as hell. Alan, Denny and some other guys and me we play scrimmages on the weekends, and I run every day.
?But especially when I broke my ankle, and since, really, I've realized how... fragile all that really is. People have debilitating injuries all the time, and even when they don't, time robs most people of the ability to do much more than hobble around. But more acutely, I'm one car accident from getting crippled. Christ, I can't believe I was dumb enough to volunteer to go without a belt. That was like an arachnophobe volunteering to spider-sit.?
?That was dumb,? Betsy said, smiling around her beer, ?even for a jock.?
?I don't know how smart it is teasing a jock over her greatest fear.?
?She knows kung fu,? Angel said.
?Karate,? Betsy corrected.
?Kazoontight,? Alan said.
?I'm not sure that joke ever actually plays,? Denny said.
?His never do,? Kelly said, punctuating it by draining her beer, and tossing the can on the growing pile by the fire.

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Nicolas Wilson is a writer and journalist. An archive featuring hundreds of short stories, comics and essays can be found here.

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