Sam Leaves

Sam swung passed the doorway at the top of the first set of stairs. Upward movement. Passing he saw Leah’s dad down on the bottom bunk of the beds talking to a person of about fourteen who had arrived at the party early. The kid had their elbows resting on their knees and was leant into the conversation, sunk. At the top of the stairs a few people sat talking and murmuring and laying on each other on the sofa and on the bed close to it.
—Hey Sam.
—Hey. How are you guys?
—We’re good, Chris gave us some of that shit you guys bought.
—Yeah, alright. Have you guys seen Keri- Joe around?
—No, he left a while ago.
—Yeah.
—Joe Joe.
—Yeah, he left a couple of hours ago I think.
—Really? Right. What are you guys doing now?
—We’re talking, laying down. Come and join us.
—Yeah, come and join us Sam.
—Yeah. Thanks but I better be off. I’ve got to get back.
—Just stay, it’s too late to get back now.
—No, I’d rather walk I think. Thank you though.
—No, come on. Stay.
—I’d rather get back you know, it’s not too far.
Chris was rubbing Chelsea’s leg in repeated motions, with the palm of his hand, putting the hand down with pressure, trying for that perfect loop.
—You know, I’m gonna get off. Thanks for everything tonight you guys.
Okay Sam, bye bye byebyebey bye byebeyebeyebeybebeb.

A police siren sounded far in the distance, closer by were the sounds of wailing animals, inhuman yet incredibly intimate like distorted screams of kids, you hear. He felt it now, he zipped up his jacket, the polyester lining of this jacket cold. He started to sweat. He felt completely sober now, his face felt heavy, he wanted to sleep, for everything to disappear and to sleep with no time spent.
The sound of men’s voices swam through the birthing pools to cross streets and tail up behind people to be talking to other people. A girl with no hips crossed the street from the party and got into a dark red F reg EV that drove into the petrol station to turn back on itself. People were protected, women had knees like knife blades, white legs with long blue veins that ran up their skirt, eyes with no definite colour. People only needed to walk, houses were shut, doors painted on. These hours were the same as sleep. His ears rang.

Every few years Sam’s mum bred dogs. The whole ground floor of his house smelt like a Labrador. The dogs lived in a large cage in the kitchen with a few torn up pillows lining the black wire floor. They didn’t sleep, awake when he arrived home. Sometimes they wouldn’t make noise but he could feel them moving, like a hive, moving in and out of each other and falling with small limbs knocking against things but seemingly taking no damage, the mum asleep like a great moving battery.
The vibrations from the window kept waking him when his forehead rolled against it, his head jerked back and his eyes opened, looking scared of the world. The roar of the air outside the car a comforting silence. His mum and step-dad looking on at the road. He shifted his body’s weight between the seat and door and tried to go to sleep again, the movement of the car rattled beneath his skull.
Sleep felt induced like a fever, it came on directly through his face, his skin weighty, eyes full of fuzz, the breath lightly passing between his lips stale. And then patterns. He didn’t know how long he had been asleep for, it was almost night. The road ran a double way across the window, headlights leading towards him then their reflection cutting and faintly illuminating the other way behind, through the vehicle and its movement. Taillights ahead drifted lazily in and out of focus, clearing paths and assembling. The trees looked like bridges, looked liked fences, looked like buildings. The motorway was small lights floating in black water.

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