High and Dry by Dorothy Snelson

It began with Covid. Evie’s birthday bash, cancelled at the last minute. She’d tested positive. Leaving us sitting at home on a Saturday night, staring despondently at the telly.

Well what else was there to do, but drown our sorrows, and to our credit, we did it big style. Which was why we staggered from our bed, on Sunday afternoon, with the mother of all hangovers. It was an hour later, after various hair of the dog remedies had been tried, that Shirl came up with it, Dry April. I must admit I was feeling so rough that I just nodded, which wasn’t a good idea, as my head didn’t feel attached to my body.

That evening, when we had sobered up somewhat, she launched into her pitch.

‘No alcoholic drink will pass our lips during April. Money saved can go towards gym membership. We’ve piled weight on over lockdown. Now it’s time for action. Our lives will be transformed.’

My blood ran cold. The thought of treadmills, or pounding pavements on cold, wet evenings, was turning my guts to water. That was when it hit me. ‘THIS WON’T END WELL’ I told myself.

All those celebrations, lad’s nights out, after work drinks, and me sitting with a slimline tonic and packet of crisps. A few drinks in the evening, usually turned my Shirl into a sexy siren. A cup of cocoa just wouldn’t have the same effect. Just another deprivation! I stuck to our plan though, bolstered by thoughts of a glorious piss up in Mad May.

At last, the miserable month ended. Next morning I awoke to a thumping head, shivering, then sweating. I sank back in bed.

‘Flu’ said Shirl. ‘It’s going around. Anything you want?’

‘Just a Lemsip’ I croaked.

Selected: Weekly Write Week #17
Published in Issue #30

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