We Prick You

"Duke’s what you’d call an older man. I’m what you’d call under-age, only he doesn’t know. He thinks I’m 17."

A cautionary tale about a young runaway and the evils of older men.

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1. Thin White Duke

“Where the HELL are you?”

    “Wait a second, mum,” I say. “I’m just putting you on speaker.”

    Well, I try to put her on speaker, but my ‘phone has three times as many buttons as it used to have. All these extra fingers aren’t helping either. Then I drop the ‘phone into my drink and that’s the end of that.

    Duke just laughs and pours me another. Duke, after the Thin White Duke, David Bowie. His hero. Duke’s what you’d call an older man. I’m what you’d call under-age, only he doesn’t know. He thinks I’m 17.

    I swig a mouthful of vodka. He doesn’t bother with coke or anything like that. Says it’s bad for your teeth. So we drink his vodka neat. If you swig it back quick, it isn’t so bad.

    “What she want?” he asks, giving me one of his long looks. Like he’s reading my mind. I try to think something filthy, just in case he is, but then I hiccup and a bit of sick comes out. I swallow it and take another swig of vodka to wash the sick back down where it belongs.

    “Stupid bitch is always calling out of the blue,” I say. “Likes to check up on me. Make sure I’m not shagging any dirty old men.”

    “Are you shagging any dirty old men?” he asks.

    “Not yet,” I say, slinging back the last of my drink. He just smiles and re-fills my glass. He’s cool like that.

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